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Teaching our child that it's just as wonderful to give as it is to receive is almost never easy. But once they understand the concept, the rewards can last a lifetime. As a parent, you probably want to guide your child to become a healthy and ethical adult. How can you lead your child to a healthy future? What kind of activities can you do together as a family that will steer your child towards becoming a compassionate adult? Community service and Volunteerism are your answer. Not only will you show your child that it is “cool” to care for others, but it will also be a wonderful way to get others involved. You can do just that with a charity birthday party.
Firstly, you must discuss this with your child. You can't just announce to your child that some or all of his gifts will be going to charity. Avoid bribing and coercion, the mission is to get your child enthusiastic about helping others. I suggest the following:
1. Know Your Child and How Much He Can Be Expected to Give - Just because you are enthusiastic to give all of your child's presents to charity, it doesn't mean that your child will feel the same way. Again, don't coerce your child to have a charitable party. Discuss with your child different ways that his party can become a means to give and not only to receive. For example, The child can keep half of his presents and the other half go to charity.
2. Know Your Child and His Interests– Each child has interests that can be converted into a great giving and charitable experience. If your child is interested in art, match them up with an art charity (http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org). If your child is interested in homelessness, match your child's party up with a homeless shelter. Once your child is matched with the right charity, your child will have a rewarding charity birthday that he will always remember.
3. The Actual Events of The Party Can Be For a Charitable Purpose – Instead of giving away your child's presents, you can consider holding a charitable project as the entertainment. For example, Charity Making and Stuffing a Teddy Bear Project (http://artistshelpingchildren.org/donateteddybears.html) and donate all of the teddy bears to a local pediatric hospital, orphanage, or shelter.
4. Have Every Child Bring a Used Toy or Item to Give to Charity – Instead of having every child bring a new item to be donated to charity, have everyone bring in a used toy, or other item. These items can then be donated to a non-profit organization. For children who aren't excited about having a charity party, you can have everyone bring in a small gift for the birthday child in addition to a used item.
5. Remember to Still Make the Event Special for The Birthday Child – Don't take all gifts away from your child. You must allow your child to still receive gifts from you, family members, and other close people in his life.
6. Meaningful Conversation First – If our child is having a difficult time figuring out what charity he wants to give to, it might be a good idea to watch the news together and see what sparks your child's interest. Sometimes seeing less fortunate people and suffrage can spark a child into wanting to give. Also, bring up social issues and discuss them with your child.
7. What Do My Parents Do? – Children learn by example. If your child sees you as a giving individual, they will be more likely to want to give of themselves as well. How can you expect your child to give up things that are important to them without giving items yourself. Consider doing something giving at your birthday every year as well.
Can Having a Charitable Birthday Party Really Be Good For My Child?
You bet it can! It has been proven by researchers that a child’s self-esteem is boosted when taking on altruistic responsibilities. When children help others, they will begin to understand that they have the strength to make a real difference in their world…and this is a great feeling. Another enormous benefit of a charitable birthday party is that a child will gain a deeper understanding of the needs and wants of others. Researchers have also noticed that children who volunteer or give charitably might gain increased academic skills, including critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Rachel Goldstein runs Artists Helping Children - A non-profit charity dedicated to bringing comfort to children in hospitals, clinics, and shelters by brightening their environment with murals, artwork, toys, and art supplies.
article written by Rachel Goldstein