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Charity begins at home

‘Charity begins at home’ is an expression that has the full support of child behaviourist, Nathalie Brown.

“Leading by example is the number one thing,” she says. “You can talk about it all you want but if you’re not role modelling, it won’t happen. Parents are the biggest role models for their kids.”

While donating money or time to charity is wonderful, Nathalie says it’s practising generosity day to day that counts, and not just at Christmas.

“Your daily interactions with people will teach your kids a lot. If a shop assistant is rude to you, are you going to be rude back? Or do you handle it with empathy?”

With help from Nathalie, here are a few festive ideas that might light the charitable spark in your child these school holidays.

  • Encourage them to take ownership of buying and wrapping a gift for a campaign such as the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal.
  • Help them raid their rooms for toys and
    clothes they no longer need, but that are still in good condition and take a trip to your closest donation bin.
  • School holidays usually mean extra free time for kids, so why not encourage them to donate some? Even something as simple as helping an elderly neighbour mow the lawn can instil a sense of pride.
  • Write a shopping list of items to be donated to a Christmas food drive. Turn the shopping trip into a family excursion.
  • Start a Christmas tradition by selecting a charity as a family. Accumulate donations from each family member throughout the year (perhaps set aside a percentage of pocket money) and donate the annual collection each Christmas.

For kids who want to take generosity a step further, these organisations connect you with charitable projects:

  • Kids Giving Back – connecting philanthropic children with volunteering opportunities, kidsgivingback.org
  • Kids in Philanthropy – workshops and events for kids to help them understand and engage in philanthropic activities, kip.org.au
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