How Do I Make My Child a Giving Person?

QUESTION

What are some activities that will help the kids focus on others and giving during Christmas? It's hard to change the focus when our children are being bombarded with ads for toys.

ANSWER

Many cultures have their own celebrations at Christmas. Try to use a tradition from your own culture to get ideas or use these:

One idea with have used to help turn the focus away from what the child wants is "hay in the manger." Take an empty box (a manger) and each time a child does something for someone else they put straw (strips of felt, yarn, fabric, etc) in the box. The idea is to make it comfortable with "good deeds." On Christmas Eve place a baby doll in swaddling clothes in the manger.

Go caroling! Retirement communities or nursing homes are glad to welcome you. There are some who do not have families and enjoy the company during the holidays.

Make homemade ornaments! Involve the whole family in making ornaments. Store bought ornaments are beautiful, but add that special touch by making your own. The kids will love adding their own style and love to their own ornaments. Also, encourage them to make ornaments for others.
(Check out Kas's ornament page!)

--Kas

Kas Winters

Kas Winters, the "Mother of Family Ideas," provides resources to help families thrive. An author and public speaker, this grandmother creates books, offers hundreds of family activity articles on her website, EverythingFamily.net, and does workshops for parents and children. Kas is passionate about helping children develop a positive self-image, providing hands-on experiences to give them confidence, and building strong supportive relationships. Her basic philosophy is: children learn best when they think they are having fun. Discover more than 5,000 activities for toddlers through teens to keep them busy while helping them become successful and happy adults in her book, "Motherlode." Jump-start children's imaginations with unstructured materials and possibilities. Encourage creative play that builds skills, confidence, and relationships with active fun, the arts, science, literature, life skills, and hands-on experiences. Ideas use everyday materials, usually free, which help make parenting easy. Winters has written, illustrated and/or published almost 100 books for families and writes family articles for magazines. As the "Family Activities Expert" for Pregnancy.org, Kas posts articles and answers questions related to this topic.