The Giving Jar

Giving with a happy heart. If you teach a child to give with a happy heart you will raise a child who will never hesitate to lend a helping hand. Children enjoy helping others, especially if they see their parents doing the same. When a child's basic physical and emotional needs are met, they are willing to share almost anything they have with someone in need.

My daughter wanted to help others from the time she was old enough to understand what it was she was doing. Before she was old enough for an allowance she helped me go through her outgrown clothes and toys to give away to charities. At Christmastime we would shop together for needy families (she looked forward to this as much as picking out her own gifts). And this doesn't mean we weren't needy ourselves. When my daughter was young I was a single mom working and going to college, and I was barely able to make ends meet. What little we had left over, however, we used to help others. I am convinced that this act of helping others took my daughter's focus off of our own circumstances and created a passion in her for helping others. She always had food to eat and clothes to wear--she did not sense a lack in her life and so was willing to freely give anything she had.

As my daughter got older and started getting an allowance, she started spending her own money. She spent her allowance on family Christmas and birthday presents (however small), started tithing, and started contributing to charities of her choice. My daughter's allowance is relatively small, compared to some of her friends, but that doesn't keep her from making contributions, no matter how small, to people and organizations she wants to help. Now that she's old enough to babysit, she has even more money to decide what to do with. She decides what to spend on herself, what to save, and what to give to others.

Our family recently came up with an idea of how we could work together to save up some money to help others. I am forever picking up loose change around the house, on the floor, in the car, and in the bottom of my purse. We decided to start a "Giving Jar" where we could deposit our spare change, and then as the occasion arose, we would use it to help others. We all pooled together our spare change and we already had more than $15. I placed the jar on the kitchen counter and put a big label on it that says "Giving Jar." It has motivated us all to save more and is also a great conversational piece!

Don't think you have to have a lot of money to give others a helping hand. Any amount, no matter how small, develops in your child the gift of a giving heart.

About The Author

Originally published at Suite 101. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For more inspirational articles and tips for everyday living, visit her web sites at http://www.creativehomemaking.com and http://www.christian-parent.com

In The News:

What is platonic parenting?  The Week Magazine
Three Ways to Change Your Parenting in the Teenage Years  Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley
Picky, Picky  Slate
Twin Perks: Solo parenting  The Review Newspaper
Parenting in the digital age event in Largs  Largs and Millport Weekly News
SMART PARENTING: Toxic parents  New Straits Times

Celebrating Mom: How To Make Every Day Her Special Day!

Bearers of life, wipers of noses, givers of unconditional love... Read More

How to Help Your Children to Blossom

I am writing this from the beautiful mountains of Western... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Back to School Blues

Q: Our son has been in honors classes all through... Read More

How Well Do You Know Your Child?

Do you think you really know your child? I don't... Read More

Does Your Child Need A Bedtime Routine? - Yes!

Do you struggle to get your child to bed at... Read More

Childrens Discipline: How To Resolve Divorce Parenting Differences?

Did you know that inconsistency on matters of discipline gives... Read More

Child Safety at Home

Maintaining a safe home environment for your childrenAs adults and... Read More

Dealing with Lying: The Dos and Donts

Jason Roberts listened to his son's explanation of the missing... Read More

Meningitis and Septicaemia

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes around the brain... Read More

Labeling is Disabling: Achieving Congruent Communication

A small town, somewhere in the world, was managed by... Read More

Parent Involvement: Finding Your Way in Middle School and High School

In elementary school it's pretty straightforward: bringing in cupcakes to... Read More

Nurtured by Love or Matured by Nature?

"There is nothing new under the sun," states Ecclesiastes 1:9.... Read More

The Thing with Quality Time

It's funny how people seem to think that they have... Read More

Dads, Handle your Kids Mistakes

One of the most difficult parts of being a father... Read More

Are Parents Trying Too Hard?

One of the implications of the current trend toward smaller... Read More

My Teenaged Parents

Frankly, as a single parent of young children, I struggled.... Read More

Creating a Memorable Travel Journal Using A Stuffed Animal

You may remember The Red Couch Project, a book by... Read More

7 Things To Teach Your Kids About Money

Did you know that many people retire broke?It's true. After... Read More

Top 10 Things To Never Believe From Your Teenager

1) It's not my (pot, beer, cigarettes, etc.), I'm just... Read More

Public-school Teachers Know Best --- They Send Their Kids To Private Schools

A study done by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found... Read More

Quality Time with Your Teen

It's sometimes difficult to find ways to be involved with... Read More

The Better Behavior Wheel - A New Kind of Calm in the Family

There's a new kind of fun and calm out there... Read More

Does Sexual Abuse Usually Occur Just Once?

Your daughter tells you that Uncle Charley has touched her... Read More

Hair Care for Children

Salon visits can be scary experiences for small children: They... Read More

Is Your Child Learning Nothing?

You send your child to school and the teachers teach... Read More