Mome reads Mommy, My daughter's way to spell it when she was younger... It stuck. My son calls me Mome... just like it looks. I now sign all my notes to them "Love, Mome". It's our inside secret and makes them smile. I always want them to smile.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Teaching Children to "Give Back"

The older I get the more I want to do to help others. I'm not in a financial situation to always give money, but I try to donate clothes, used toys, and other stuff we've outgrown or no have a need for around the house. I knit for the homeless in Ohio, which reminds me I need to send a shipment out, I do charity walks, and try to support in other non-monetary ways. How do I get my kids to "buy in"?

Every time I suggest we go through all their old toys and find some stuff to give away to other children who have nothing, my 3 year old falls to pieces and her brother insists that they are all his favorites and he couldn't imagine parting with any of them. I know I could just take stuff out of the play room when they are not home and they would never know the difference, but I really want their buy in. I want them to come to me with baskets of toys and say "Mom. I really don't play with this stuff anymore do you think we could find some other kids who would enjoy them."

How do I make that happen?

How do I get my kids to realize how fortunate they are? Boogs in the 1st grade and must have kids in his class who don't have what he has. They must have talked after Christmas and told each other about what they got. They were talking about the ipods they wanted before Christmas so wouldn't it seem like they'd discuss what they received after? Was anyone disappointed with how little they got? Or are those kids so thankful for the smallest things that it was a great Christmas anyway?

Do I have them watch the devastation in Haiti? Will they get it then or would they just get scared? I hear of children who have birthday parties and have their guests donate to a cause rather than bring gifts. Who are these children and how did they get to be this way. Am I doing it all wrong?

I'll contunue to talk to them about others less fortunate while attempting to protect them from seeing things they would have no control over anyway. I'll explain to them why Mommy is walking all night long and take them along (with a ride home) to see the volumes of people that are also helping the causes. I'm hoping at some point it clicks. What do you do?


  1. We all have the same problem, I think. But, in my opinion, the only way is to keep trying. I think since you do so much, they will get it. It is hard to explain to little ones, and they do mirror their parents. As they get older, and they see all you do, I think they will be impressed, and will want to make a difference, as well.

    By the way, WONDERFUL MOM!!!! It is especially a time of year to think of others, and you don't just preach to do something to change the world, you do it. I have a greater respect for you since reading this post. I already loved your site, and now I am in awe. If you change just one person's life, you have made a bigger difference than you would ever imagine. And, as for not being able to donate money, I believe donating time is more important. You have reminded me that I do not do enough, and if I want my son to understand how blessed he is, then I have to start doing more. You and this site are one more thing to add to my Thankful for list!

  2. Wow. Thanks so much for the kind words. I'm no super mom. I just have values that I want to teach my children. It seems as though it will be a while before they have the same passion I do to help others. I can only set the example and hope one day they want to follow:)


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