Seven Ways to Teach Your Children Generosity

During the last Christmas season, Disney’s Club Penguin website allowed children who played its online games to donate their virtual earnings to help the environment, improve children’s health, or assist children in developing countries. Though players could use the coins to purchase virtual items to enhance the games, more than 2.5 million of them chose to donate their virtual money instead, resulting in a real $1 million donation divided among three charities.

This example is only one of many where children proven to be at least as generous as their elders. Even children who have more than their fair shares of personal problems have given their own time and allowances to hel


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10 Responses to Seven Ways to Teach Your Children Generosity

  1. Ann says:

    My daughter always wants to meet the kids wearing her old clothes that we donate. She gets so happy when she grows out of something she loves because someone else will love it, too. In that moment, she’s somebody’s angel, and it’s really something to see.

  2. Moneymonk says:

    Good advice for both children and adults

  3. decon says:

    I know that my views are going to rile some people up, but forcing your kids to be generous can’t be done. Some kids just aren’t generous no matter how much you try. They have their own mind and if they don’t want to be, they won’t. Blaming parents because their kids don’t happen to be generous is placing the blame in the wrong place. Sure, you should try, but there is no guarantee it’s going to work.

  4. marybeth says:

    Sorry Decon, those excuses don’t pass mustard. Kids learn from their parents and if your kids aren’t generous, it’s because they weren’t taught properly when growing up. It’s not an exercise where you try a little and then give up and say it’s their fault. It’s a lifetime of showing by example.

  5. buzymommy says:

    My parents always wanted me to be generous and always forced me to share. I hated it that time and even now I don’t like to give anything to anybody. I work hard, I sacrifise so much to even be able to go to work, miss time with my kids and have to have somebody to watch them. And, honestly, I don’t feel like sharing my hardearned money with somebody who is lazy or doesn’t manage their money properly or doesn’t succrifice cable tv or stuff like that to not to be broke. I don’t want to force or even encorage my kids to share, because I don’t want anybody to take advantage of them by crying how poor and disadvantaged they are. It’ OK to help your immediate family and provide best you can for your kids, but charity, donations, I am sorry, I don’t do that. I sell all my unneeded outgrown stuff on ebay or garage sale, and if there is anything left over I would donate it to a charity that would give me a decent receipt for my tax write-off, since I couldn’t sell the stuff anyways.

  6. James says:

    @busymommy: Let me guess — you’re despondent about Cheney ’08 not working out. Nothing else could explain such a mean-spirited, greedy, and short-term mindset.

    I could explain the work my daughter’s school is doing to help kids in Ghana, but you’d probably shrug it off due to their cable TV habits. Or the work my wife does with a shelter for battered women — surely they could manage their money better and all would be fine.

    Every man for himself? No thanks.

    Wishing you better karma than you’re apparently giving the rest of us!


  7. Horlic says:

    Learn how to share with others is important. We should educate our children from small and make it as habit.

  8. deborah blohm says:

    I loved your simple effective ways of instilling generosity – thank you!

  9. Kimberly says:

    Mary Beth, you are right and wrong. Kids do learn from their parents, but not everything that a parent teaches gets through to the child. I am an extremely giving person. I donate to charity and I am extremely generous to women’s shelters or any other donations for natural disasters that occur. I have tried everything I know to do to teach my daughter about giving. I involve her in the giving process and explain why we are doing it. Still, she is so stingy about giving up a toy collecting dust in the bottom of the toybox. It is not just about learning from parents. There are other issues that keep a child from being generous. I am not a child psychologist, so I don’t know what they are. But blaming parents for everything is very judgmental.

  10. Kimberly says:

    Wow, you are one stingy woman. I guess all the people that have had their houses burn down, hit by a tornado, or other natural disasters fall into your category of help yourself or else? You are a perfect example of what is wrong with the world today. You don’t care about others. I am hard-working, single mom. I have little money to go around. But, I still find enough generosity in my heart to donate clothes to those that just lost everything in wildfires in my area.

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