Tuesday, June 30, 2015

You give a little, you get a lot

Every Sunday morning, I give my son his allowance. He does a little song and dance he made up and races to his room to put the money into his three jars. So far, he's completely understood the purpose of his spend and save jars, but we haven't done much with his give jar. He knows that he has that jar in order to give back to the world, but we were waiting for enough funds to make an impact.

So after a few months of allowances, I invited him to choose a project from donorschoose.org to spend his "give" money on. I told him that Mommy and Daddy would match the amount of money he decided to give to teachers. And he ended up choosing a project for one of the teachers in his school.

The idea of giving is an important one for me. We aren't a religious family, so we don't give back to a church. Although we do support some community programs, there hasn't been something that my son gets to interact with and support until this. And, as researchers are discovering, the act of giving may make us healthier overall. After playing a few games with children so they could earn tokens, researchers gave children the opportunity to give some of their hard-earned tokens away to children who weren't there. They discovered a few things:
  • Children who had poorer backgrounds gave away more tokens than those from wealthier backgrounds.
  • The children who gave away more tokens had a greater sense of calm about them.
I'm not saying that altruism is the key to ultimate health, but I am interested in helping my son understand that he has a responsibility to take care of the world that he lives in.

What organizations do you encourage your child to support? Let me know in the comments.

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