FROM THE HEART
Whether its sharing toys or willingly donating clothes to others, many times parents often hear the selfish words of their children: ‘give me that, or that’s mine’. A child must be taught from infancy to be generous. At an early age little children learn to share food, clothing, and other things with those around them. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Saliha Afridi a very simple way to tell whether your child is generous or
selfish is to observe them while they are playing with other children. A young child who is selfish will be very possessive with their toys. Often
they refuse to let anyone even touch them. A generous child is more willing to share. Many children’s behavior is picked up from observing their parents.
WHAT PARENTS CAN DO
- A major factor in helping your child is the continuous encouragement given by their parents. Children do as we do and not as we say.
- If parents walk by and don’t take note of those who are needy, it is highly likely that the child will also learn to not notice those whoare less fortunate.
- If parents want their children to give, it will not be through lecturing or preaching, she urges, but rather it will be by engaging in the act of giving.
- If we want our children to give, we need to make sure that we are creating a family culture of giving.
- One way is to involve children at an early age; parents can have conversations that involve children being creative about how the family can give to those who need; this can happen at a very early age and not just when children are older.
- Another way to imbibe the gift of giving in your children is to spend time, not just money. Community service is a responsibility and a duty as it creates empathy and an awareness that is more deeply rooted than if they were to just give money.
- When parents see someone on the street or in the neighborhood that is less fortunate, discuss with the child about how it is that they can give to that individual or family. Once they decide on a way, then they should have the child follow through with the giving. For example, having the child tip someone who has served him or her. The point being that the exchange of money, things, or service should involve the child.
- Aim to give a percentage of what you have; teach the child that you do not have to have a lot to give. If they get Dhs 50 for their birthday, teach them at an early age to give a certain percentage of that money to someone less fortunate.