3 ways to give back as a family
At a Glance: To make giving back a family value, try giving your children money to donate as they wish, and schedule volunteer events to attend as a group.
There’s soccer on Tuesdays and Saturdays, then their school conferences next week and the dentist after that. Plus you have schoolwork of your own to tackle. With so many to-dos on the list, it’s hard to think about giving back.
Make it simple and enjoyable with these three family-focused ways to give back:
Give them money
The best way to teach your kids about money is to give them some. Set a time each week for a Family Money Meeting. Once everyone’s around the table, start by doling out $5 or $10 to each family member (that means the adults, too!). Now go around the table and give everyone a chance to talk about what they plan to do with their money. The only rule is that you can’t spend it all. Everyone has to set aside a portion of their money for saving and for sharing, but leave the amounts up to them.
Empowering your children to make money decisions teaches them about responsibility and consequences. It also gives you an opportunity to talk about money, values and the importance of giving back. Added bonus: They won’t be begging you for money all day every day because you have a money meeting set.
Mark your calendar
Don’t treat dedicated days, such as Veteran’s Day and Earth Day, like any other Tuesday. Make these days special for your family. Mark them with stickers on an oversized family calendar that hangs somewhere everyone can see it and be reminded. Then plan fun family activities that celebrate the day in a giving back way. On Earth Day, plant a tree or vegetable garden in your yard or for a neighbor. On Veteran’s Day, go to a local Veteran’s hospital to spend time with someone who has served.
Did you know that National Family Volunteer Day is held the Saturday before Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday season with giving and service? Flip the holidays from receiving to giving by donating used clothes and toys to a local second-hand store.
Pair giving back with a fun activity the whole family can enjoy. Find a 5K race or walk that raises money for a charity you support. Make it memorable with costumes for a themed race, or try a mud run that is full of mud pits.
The Color Run, also known as “The Happiest 5K on the Planet”, has become popular worldwide. Runners (or walkers) start the race in white clothes and then get sprayed by colored powder made from cornstarch and baking soda along the run. By the end of the race, everyone looks like they’ve been tie-dyed. Added benefit: You’re forming healthy family habits by making exercise fun.
You are your children’s biggest role model, so take the time to teach them kindness and empathy. And have tons of family fun at the same time.