Spark a Love for Sharing: Teaching Your Preteen How to Give

When we talk to children about money, we often focus on the importance of saving and spending responsibly. We may touch upon sharing when discussing what you can do with your money, but it’s typically not the main focus.

As a preteen, however, your child is ready to learn how to responsibly share their money, too. Teaching your child how to give of their time, talent, and treasure now can spark a lifelong commitment to caring for their community in the future.

So, how do you get started? Follow our tips below.

Highlight the importance of giving to others

Talk to your child about the importance of sharing what you have with others. Tell a story of a way that you’ve given your time, talent, or treasure to others, whether by helping a neighbor, donating to a religious organization, or organizing a collection for your local food bank.

Ask your child to think of three ways they’ve helped others. It can be anything from helping a classmate with a difficult homework assignment to helping an elderly neighbor rake leaves to giving some of their own money during a fundraiser.

Talk about responsible giving

You can’t shield your child from the fact that occasionally there are organizations that don’t make the most of a donation you give. Or scammers who take advantage of your goodwill. Talk to them about ways they can help others while keeping themselves and their money safe and doing the most good.

Find a cause your child is passionate about

Even though they’re young, your child likely has a cause that’s meaningful to them. They may love animals, be worried about friends who don’t have enough to eat, or want to help other children who are in the hospital.

Talk to your child to determine what they’re passionate about and then work together to find a nonprofit in your community that’s in line with that passion. Once you’ve chosen a nonprofit, help your child do research on their website to determine ways they can help and who they should contact to learn more.

Challenge them to get involved and be creative

It doesn’t always have to be money that your child gives. There may be other items that a nonprofit is most in need of. For instance, perhaps the local animal shelter needs used blankets and towels for the dog kennels or maybe the food bank needs help stocking the shelves.

Encourage your child to get involved in age-appropriate volunteer activities and be creative with what they can do to help the nonprofit. For example, they can ask their friends to bring donations for the food bank to their next birthday party instead of gifts. Or maybe they can help you go through the house and gather up appropriate items that you no longer use that can benefit a nonprofit.

Remember that no act is too small

If your child is limited in what they can do or give personally, remind them that no act of kindness is too small. If everyone gives even a small amount, it all adds up in the end.

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