Want to Raise Generous Kids? Here's How.

March 30, 2019

Quote of the Week

"The heart that gives, gathers." -- Tao Te Ching

Want To Raise Generous Kids? Here's How.

"When Suneet and Priya Bhatt’s daughter Anaiya, now almost 5 years old, turned 1, the couple knew they wanted to celebrate her birthday, but not drown in gifts. So they told their guests no presents, unless they wanted to bring school supplies for kids at the charter school where Priya taught. The party came and the Edison, N.J., family ended up with two carloads full of donations. Their toddler? She didn’t miss a thing. But what they hoped she would gain from this, and from birthdays to come, would be priceless.

“From that point on, we said this is the way we want to do” birthdays, Suneet Bhatt says. Sure, Anaiya still receives presents. But now, she likes to go online to the site Daymaker.com to see which kids need them. Anaiya’s brother, Jaan, had the same “Daymaker party” when he turned 2 in May. Suneet Bhatt’s parents raised him similarly, taking him to volunteer at hospitals starting at age 11. His wife, he says, is like-minded. “ So we want our kids just to be as generous and thoughtful.”

But how does a parent teach this to a child? Here is some advice from experts so you, too, can raise a generous soul." [read more]

Reading Corner

Title: The Peanut Butter Birthday Party
By: Cynthia Kagan Frohlichstein
Ages: 4-8

Why?  "We got this book for our elder daughter just before she turned 3 and could begin to understand why she had pay-it-forward birthdays every year. After reading it, she got excited about her upcoming 3rd birthday party and decided she wanted to collect gifts for sick kids at a children's hospital, where she herself had a finger surgery earlier that year.  It was so nice to see generosity being celebrated and shared in a story book in this context, as it encourages children to tap into that generous space in their own hearts to honour their birthdays. Since our kids' first birthdays, they've been having pay-it-forward birthday parties yearly and books like this help to reaffirm the idea for kids that giving is a wonderful practice to embrace as you celebrate your birthday as it gives you an opportunity to pay forward your love to others." -- Deep and Trishna Shah

Be the Change

Talk to your kids about their next birthday celebration. Brainstorm ideas together of who they could pay forward their gifts to. Some possibilities could include gifts for sick kids in children's hospitals, useful items for homeless people, small gifts to cheer up elderly people in care homes, books for a local community library or even random acts of kindness for strangers!