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Teaching Kids to Be Charitable
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Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP posted:
As parents, one of our most important jobs is to teach our children. We teach them about life and love, right and wrong, hard work, and the importance of giving to others. We help our kids develop empathy and understanding toward others and concern for the world around them.

Parents often ask me how they can teach their children about charitable giving. Here are some suggestions that I find work well with young children:

• Talk about giving to charity in front of your child and discuss how you make it a priority in your schedule and budget.
• Help your child pick out a few toys that she no longer plays with to give to families with younger children who don't have as many toys.
• Encourage your child to save pennies, loose change, or part of his allowance to donate to a charity of his choosing.
• Set aside time every month to volunteer as a family.
• Choose a cause that is meaningful to your family or adopt another family in need.
• Organize clothing or shoe drives in your community -- or even at your child's school -- for a local drop-in shelter.
• Donate canned and nonperishable food items from the grocery store or your pantry.
• Visit a nursing home or a hospital if allowed, to sing songs, read books, or help with volunteer projects.

No matter how you choose to teach your children the importance of giving back, make it a fun family activity. I look forward to the days when my family can volunteer together. And I want to inspire my kids to take on their own individual charity projects and to contribute to our community and the world at-large.

What are some of the ways you've been able to teach your children the importance of giving back and helping others?
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