The Art of Giving

Thanks to Primrose Schools for the following article, originally posted in their Pointers for Parents newsletter.

The holidays offer multiple opportunities to model and highlight the importance of giving back for our children. As parents, we must strike a balance between the joy of giving and receiving gifts and helping our children understand the true meaning of caring and generosity.

Here are a few suggestions of ways to invoke the spirit of giving during the holiday season.

  1. Make time. The holidays can be a hectic time filled with special events, parties and travel. Making time to stop and include your child in local charitable activities will build memories and an appreciation for the difference we can all make—even in small ways. It may be volunteering at a local charity or involving your child in holiday baking for the neighbors. Talk to your child about why these acts of kindness are meaningful and be sure to respond to any questions with simple and concrete answers.
  2. Make it a tradition. Holiday customs are a part of the season and can give your child a better understanding of your family’s values and traditions. When at least one of those traditions is an act of sharing, you are teaching your child a powerful lesson about the power of giving that she can carry with her the rest of her life.
  3. Read. There are plenty of books out there that will help your child better understand the art of giving. Reading is one of the best ways for your child to better understand the concept of generosity. Here are some recommendations from Dr. Mary Zurn, vice president of Education and Professional Development for Primrose Schools:
    • A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
    • Because of You by B.G. Hennessy, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata
    • The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in Need (First Time Books®) by Stan Berenstain
    • Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka


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