I remember vividly being pregnant with my first and talking with Joe about our hopes and dreams for our little boy to be. To this day, the thing that I want most for my children is that they grow up to be kind and happy. If they are kind and empathetic people as well as genuinely happy with who they are, I know that they will do just fine in this crazy world.
I am sure that many parents feel the same way and we all do our best to foster this for our children. I talk about developing empathy in your children in a previous post here. However, the number one way to support them in growing up to be kind and giving is to expose them to the concept at an early age. By simply showing them how we can impact others, their future generosity begins to develop. Let's talk about a few of the top ways to incorporate your children into this even starting in the toddler and preschool years.
bake treats for others
Our kids love to cook and making food for a neighbor or nursing home together is a terrific way to spread kindness. Making scratch made cookies is one of our favorite activities together. When we deliver them to someone, it only makes it more special. Let your kids roll up their sleeves, wash their hands and be a part of creating a delicious treat.
As fun as that part is, I find that our kids enjoy hand delivering them most. The joy you’ll see on their faces will make it clear they are growing to understand that the feeling of giving is a good one. Baking cookies is a terrific way to encourage a child who values giving!
Bonus Tip: Kids tend to be impatient (who isn’t), so while the cookies bake, help them practice patience by using that time to talk about giving and the feelings they had while making them and those they think they’ll have when they hand over their tray of baked goods to someone who needs a pick me up.
donate toys & books
Donating unused toys and books is an easy way to incorporate your children into helping others. Toys are often tough to part with but it can be helpful to do this before birthdays and holidays to make room for new things to come. Often when children are involved with bringing the toys and seeing or hearing about the children who will benefit from their gently used toys and books, it is easier for them to feel the value in their choice to donate.
Bonus Tip: Books tend to be easier for kids so I recommend starting there if they are particularly unsure about the process.
Similarly, they can help you sort through your linen stash, fold the linens and pack them up. Once a year or so we will go through the linens and see if we have some we don’t need or use anymore and pack them up for the local animal shelter.
We recently rescued our sweet Ruby from a local shelter and our kids were thrilled to know that our old sheets and blankets had helped keep her and all her puppy friends cozy. Donation centers also collect these things but the animal shelter is our favorite place to bring them if you have one locally.
Bonus Tip: My kids love folding, I’m sure it will be short lived but it’s a good activity for them and they seem to enjoy it. This is a great way to practice following directions and sequencing. I recommend starting with hand towels and then work your way up to clothing. When they take over folding the laundry completely, think of how good life will be! Start them young :)
Spend your money wisely
When making purchases your family needs, why not find businesses who value giving in their bottom line. While corporate giving may be over our a kid's head, one-for-one businesses are a concept into which children can really sink their baby teeth. When we buy this, this brand gives that. Simple, right? We made the switch to ABBY&FINN diapers for this exact reason and could not be happier.
ABBY&FINN is the most convenient diaper subscription service on the market. To your doorstep, they will send affordable and earth quality diapers. No last minute trips to the store for diapers. As your babies grow, you can update the diaper size with ease and they have a proper, comfortable fit. When you couple this with them bring totally chlorine, latex, dye & fragrance-free, you know your littles are in the best of hands.
These diapers are best in class as are the wipes that keep my sensitive kids clean and comfortable. Oh, and did I mention how adorable the diaper prints are?
The founders of ABBY&FINN decided to be part of a solution for American families. They found that 1 in 3 American families have a desperate need for diapers. Children can't attend childcare without them and their parents can't work if they can't get their kids in childcare. This need is leaving families struggling. It creates a cycle of hardship for far too many families in the US and ABBY&FINN has found a way to support those families nationwide.
This diaper company not only offers high quality, environmentally conscious diapers at a reasonable cost, they also donate a pack of diapers for every box purchased. Think about how many diapers you have bought... now think about how many families could be supported with this 1 for 1 commitment by ABBY&FINN .
Here on Eden Street, I am thrilled to support them for this reason but also because the product is excellent. These diapers have BY FAR the best fit we've ever found. Our youngest has not had a single leak since we transitioned to the ABBY&FINN diapers and the wipes have kept him rash free since day one.
Even though the quality and price are the most important aspects for me, I love that they get delivered to me and I don't have to think about running out of diapers. I am always juggling too many things and this is such an easy option.
It has also been so wonderful seeing my kids react to the gift our purchases give to a sweet little one in need. Even our four-year-old understands the weight of our choice in buying ABBY&FINN diapers. In fact, she and her brother often like to imagine who the baby is that receives the goodwill connected to our box and even make up elaborate stories about her.
For those wondering, their imaginations have settled on it always being a baby girl named Charlotte. Charlotte does NOT like broccoli but she does love apricots. Don't you love little minds?!
Donations and cookies are a terrific way to get your children involved in showing others kindness. Making smart choices while shopping is another vital way to really model a giving heart for your children. It is never too early to start showing them how their choices and actions can transform someone else's day and even their life.
Why not send "Charlotte" and other children the diapers they need with your purchase? Check out ABBY&FINN and be sure to share the one-for-one concept with your kiddos to begin instilling a kind heart.