By Jayne Berkaw
As a member of the Baby Boomer Generation, I heard a lot about the emerging “global economy” as I was growing up, but kids of the 21st Century are truly residents of a global community, where technology-driven news, culture and communication is shrinking our planet more every day. Today’s parents, more than ever before, are tasked with helping their children become responsible citizens of the world.
A lot goes with that responsibility, but one key component is nurturing a charitable heart in your children. In all the reading I’ve done about teaching kids charity, most of the experts believe that this is one area that must be “learned,” so charity, it seems, does actually begin at home, as the saying goes.
Religious traditions are extremely helpful in creating a “giving” environment and the opportunity to donate both time and money. In addition, you can discuss with your child what’s important to her or him and, together, search for charities that address that concern. It might be a greener planet, helping children in the developing world, or support for a local soup kitchen. The key is focusing on one or two issues that really tug at your child’s heart and then establishing a plan (to donate time, money or both) that will motivate your child and allow him or her to be successful.
You don’t have to be a Bill Gates or Andrew Carnegie to learn about philanthropy and to grasp that giving of yourself is satisfying, rewarding and helps create a better world. Through its goal-setting feature, FamilyMint.com facilitates giving and visually shows progress, a powerful tool in building your child’s ability to think beyond themselves .