Raising Kids to Give Back – It’s Never Too Early To Get Started!

Written by: Amy Cahill

With the arrival of winter comes the anticipation of giving – giving presents, giving thanks, giving back.

As an adult, it’s easy to give back in some way. But this year is different. I’m no longer just me, and my husband and I are no longer just “we.” We are now a family of three, and we want our one-year-old daughter Lila to participate in the tradition of giving back, even at her young age.

When is the right time to get started?

Who could argue the value in raising kids who understand that even the smallest act of kindness can change the course of someone’s day or life? Much of today’s early child development research points to the importance of instilling this belief early on, affirming that teaching babies to do meaningful things is a top way to help raise a happy child. Babies and kids learn behavior best through example set by their best role models, their parents, so we need to cultivate this value through our actions first.

How to get started in Chicago

In the More Than Milk community in Chicago, moms are volunteering with their kids from the time they are just a few months old. More Than Milk exists to help develop a family culture of giving by providing opportunities for moms to learn, grow and use their many talents to support others. By giving back, moms are generating “more than milk” to talk about with their friends and family.

When philanthropy starts young, it becomes a way of life, generates rich dialogue at dinner tables and becomes something families can always do together. It’s never too early to think about teaching your kids to give back, and this holiday season is a perfect time to start.

Chicago families share fantastic advice on how to navigate parenting in the city in our NPN Parent to Parent blog posts. Download the full NPN winter issue to read more! Did you receive your Parent to Parent copy at home?  If not, visit My Account and change your mailing preferences.

Posted on December 16, 2011 at 9:11 AM