“Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion.”
Encouraging generosity in your child might not be as hard as you think. Anthropologists opine that generosity is a deeply-ingrained human trait, which can be honed with the help of conscious character development. While it might be difficult for little kids to grasp the nuances of being generous, it is our duty as parents and guardians to encourage altruistic behavior in our children.
Here is a list of 6 effective ways in which you can raise a generous, loving child:
1. Set Examples by Practicing Generosity
Toddlers and little kids pick up on the behavior of those around them. They live by emulating, hence, it is crucial for us to set positive examples via everyday actions. If your child grows up in the vicinity of generous individuals, he/she will automatically absorb this trait into their core personality. Model behavior in school also goes a long way – a good play school in Gurgaon would have teachers who encourage their students to be kind, loving, and empathetic, by exhibiting the same in their day-to-day interactions.
2. Encourage them to Reciprocate Kindness and Take Turns
As per a recent study at Stanford University, encouraging simple reciprocal activities in young children can trigger altruistic behavior. Generosity can be encouraged while teaching your child to take turns while rolling a beach ball, or handing soft toys back and forth between friends. Taking turns fosters the act of giving, along with the expectation of the same behavior from others. Once children experience reciprocity, they can envision a community guided by care and commitment. Teachers in the best schools in Gurgaon can implicitly communicate to children that it is wonderful to help other people in certain contexts.
3. Be Wary of Comparisons
Kind individuals have a lovely aura around them, attracting other humans towards them. However, it is common for generosity to provoke jealousy and resentment when one child is exemplified as exhibiting model behavior in front of other children who don’t. While fostering generosity, do not praise one child at the expense of another as such comparison can perpetuate feelings of self-depreciation. For instance, avoid negative comparisons, such as ‘Why can’t you be kind like your brother?’, as it will lead to the altruistic child being perceived in an unfavorable light.
4. Give Children a Certain Sense of Autonomy
Children should be allowed a certain sense of autonomy when it comes to exercising kindness and generosity. In a 2013 study, two groups of toddlers were asked to share a stack of stickers – one group had the choice of keeping it to themselves, while the other had no choice but to give it away. While almost all kids ended up sharing their stickers, the kids who were given a choice ended up sharing more, while genuinely learning the value of compassion. This exemplifies that children have the latent ability to be more giving when allowed to exercise free will.
5. Help Kids Discover Happiness via Acts of Compassion
Help your child discover the correlation between generosity and happiness, as this will encourage them to practice kindness naturally. Parents and teachers can reinforce this awareness in various ways. On noticing spontaneous generous acts carried out by children, you can appreciate and encourage this behavior by asking them to reflect on the experience of sharing with others. You can ask how they feel when they share toys with their friends, encouraging their latent feelings of joy when involved in the act of giving. This will help them realize that spreading joy not only betters the lives of others but also enriches their own.
In conclusion, raising a generous child will allow them to experience life in its variable hues, and help them evolve into kind and altruistic adults who aim to make the world a better place!