Philanthropy is an important tool for balance in society. It instills within people a sense of purpose, and helps individuals develop perspective to be happier in their daily lives. Of course, philanthropic efforts are even more rewarding when they are shared. Not surprisingly, many values connected to giving, such as altruism, are passed down through family.
The way to instill such values in children, however, has become increasingly convoluted. Social media has changed the way that the younger generation communicates, and many parents are at a loss for where to begin. When and how to start are strongly debated, but I believe that you can never start teaching children about giving too early. The longer they learn, the more these values will stick with them as they get older.
While there is no one way to go about raising altruistic individuals, there is some advice on how to get the ball rolling. A large part of getting a philanthropic mindset solidified in the home is making sure each adult in the house thinks about giving in the same way. If you are teaching your children one thing, and your partner is teaching something different, your children will be confused and the lessons may not stick in their minds. Therefore, a conversation needs to be had between parents about their values in giving, and what of those they would like to pass on to their offspring.
Another thing to do is to make it known to your children how you are involved in philanthropy. Do not be afraid to talk to your children about your efforts, even if you do not believe they will fully understand. Showing them how passionate you are about giving to causes will spark their interest in philanthropy and, soon enough, they will follow suit. Also, getting them involved in your philanthropic efforts is a great way to instill altruistic values. Ask their opinion on your giving. Have them pick a charity to focus on. Have them connect with charitable organizations through social media. These will all help them become more altruism-focused.
Additionally, it is a good idea to teach your children how to handle their finances. This is a useful skill for kids to learn while they are young regardless, but you can show them how to split up allowance to give to charity as well as keep money for themselves. This will become a habit for them as they grow older, and will lead to them setting aside money for their desired charity throughout their lives.
All in all, giving benefits the self and society, and should be taught early on in life. The health benefits of philanthropy help people grow to lead more fulfilling lives. Additionally, philanthropic effort ensures assistance is being given to those who truly need it.
For more information on how to instill the passion of giving into your children, read this article on how to begin charity in the home.