Teaching Acts of Kindness: “Giving is Better than Receiving”

In order to help your child grow up to be a person who is kind toward others, it is imperative to teach them from a young age that is much better to give than to receive. These lessons need to be reinforced during the teenage years because it is all too common for people in this age group to become highly self-absorbed. However, if you can get your teen to become interested in helping others, this can become a major facet of their personality for the rest of their life. The following are some ways that a parent can teach and encourage their teen the meaning of kindness.

1. Adopt a Family

If you are financially able to do so, there is no greater way to bring joy to a less fortunate family’s home than to help them during the holiday season by providing them with food and gifts. However, in order to ensure that your teenager learns the lesson that it is much more rewarding to give than to receive, you will want to make sure that your entire family is present when your adoptive family receives all of their gifts. After all, no one can see a look of joy on another person’s face without being positively impacted by it.

2. Use a Kindness Calendar

Many people are interested in the concept of being kind to others, but it can often be difficult for a teenager to determine which steps they should take. Fortunately, you can help them gain insight into the simple actions that can make a positive difference in other people’s lives by introducing them to an Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar. The Internet makes these calendars especially easy to utilize.

In fact, it is possible to receive a daily email that will contain each tip to help your teenager become kinder toward others. This calendar will help encourage your teen to do one act of kindness for everyday in December, starting Dec. 1st, leading up to Christmas day. It is a wonderful opportunity to instill kindness and generosity for 25 days.

3. Volunteer as a Family Together

You should sign up for a volunteering opportunity as a family in order to teach your teen about the importance of being kind. For example, you can all volunteer at a soup kitchen during the holiday season. As an added bonus, this experience will help open your teenager’s eyes to the fact that many people are less fortunate than them.

4. Provide a Good Example Yourself

It is unrealistic to expect your teen to embrace the philosophy behind being kind to others if you do not exhibit this behavior for them on a regular basis. Therefore, you should take every opportunity to treat others with kindness and respect. For example, if someone asks you for money on the street, it is important to be respectful to them even if you are unable to comply with their request.

Keep in mind that even the best teenager may still exhibit selfish behavior from time to time. Because of this, it is even more important to take advantage of any opportunity to help them learn how rewarding it can be to be kind to others. As long as you continuously set a good example and look for charitable opportunities as a family, your teen is highly likely to grow up believing that it is truly better to give than to receive.

As a mother of 3 teens, Lisa Coleman understands the importance of teaching kindness to our youth. She recently read online about the Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar and how it can help encourage and teach a teen kindness during the season of giving.

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fmsc/6924637536/troubled teen help