Shop the fall collection ➔

Most people recognize that being charitable feels good ― but few understand that donating to the less fortunate has a profound effect on the way we live our lives. Charitable people tend to be dramatically happier than those who hoard their belongings for themselves; charitable people are usually healthier and able to recover from chronic illness much more effectively than the stingy masses. What’s more, charitable people tend to be more successful in all of their endeavors, as the trust and cooperation they foster with their generosity allows them to win support from employers and the community.

These amazing effects of benevolence are what every parent hopes for his or her child, and it seems obvious that encouraging charitable behavior is an excellent parenting strategy. Fortunately, fostering generosity isn’t difficult, especially if you start teaching your kids compassion at a young age. Here are five easy steps to help your child lead a charitable life.

Use Her Interests as Guidance

There is something your child is passionate about: animals, books, food, etc. You can spark her interest in charity and volunteerism by finding a cause closely related to whatever gets her most excited. Getting her involved in choosing the cause will help her to become more invested and participate more often. You might help your search by preparing a list of kid-friendly organizations, such as:

  • World Wildlife Fund. “Adopt” an endangered animal of your child’s choosing, supporting research and efforts to preserve our most precious wildlife.
  • Kids Against Hunger. Donate money, food, and time to help feed hungry families around the world.
  • Toys for Tots. Give away your old, unwanted toys to kids whose families can’t afford such luxuries.
  • Make a Wish. Bring joy to sick children by donating money, airline miles, and more to make a kid’s wildest dreams come true.
  • Operation Gratitude. Write letters, send goodies, and connect with deployed American troops who are devoting their lives to protecting your freedom.

Teach Him Personal Finance

Those with extra time and resources are better equipped to be charitable, so by teaching your child personal finance, you can help him help others. The U.S. has an astoundingly low financial literacy rate, which means children across the country aren’t learning the proper ways to save and spend. Economics and personal finances are uncommon at grade school; therefore, you should devote some of your parenting effort toward teaching your child the right and wrong ways to use money.

Budgeting is perhaps the most crucial financial lesson for kids to learn. As soon as your kid starts receiving an allowance, you should help him build his first budget. Expenditures will undoubtedly be small, which means you will have sufficient resources to devote to saving (perhaps for his first car or college) and donating to charity.

Think About More Than Money

While cash is certainly something every organization clamors for, money really isn’t the only thing charities need to continue doing good works. Though your little ones might not have enough saved up to make a sizeable monetary contribution, they can still help their community through other types of donations. In fact, plenty of charities prefer alternative gifts, which means kids have even more power to make a difference.

Perhaps the most common donation besides dollars and cents is household items. Almost anything in your house can be donated to a worthy cause. You and your child can explore the cupboards, closets, and storage areas for anything unwanted or unused. Items as small as your kid’s toys and as large as your old family boat can be given away to benefit someone in need.

Additionally, kids can engage in homemade crafts that benefit a number of causes; there are a number of projects suitable for all ages, like making blankets for the homeless or writing thank-you letters to deployed troops. You can find more ideas at

Be Gracious and Grateful

No matter how many charities you find that relate to your kid’s interests, no matter how well you teach your little one about money, and no matter how frequently you convince your child to donate old clothes and toys, you won’t be able to raise a charitable child unless you set a good example. Whenever you are around your child ― and even when you aren’t ― you should practice patience and generosity, demonstrating the right ways to behave. From the start, your child should learn empathy and kindness. Then, as he or she grows, he or she will naturally want to help others by giving his or her money, effort, and belongings.

Her View From Home

Millions of mothers connected by love, friendship, family and faith. Join our growing community. 1,000+ writers strong. We pay too!   Find more information on how you can become a writer on Her View From Home at

One Day You’ll Outgrow Being My Little Boy—But Not Today

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mother and two sons back-to-school picture, color photo

One day you will come home after your first day of a new school year and not wish to share a single thing. Not today. Today, you got into the car and talked non-stop about every second of your day. I was delighted!  One day you will not have countless first-day forms for me to sign and return the next day. Not today. I signed my name at least four times. I was happy to grant permission for you to play sports, learn algebra, and do whatever else I gave my permission for.  One day you will not allow me...

Keep Reading

The Sports Mom Shows Up For Her Kids, No Matter What

In: Kids, Motherhood
Youth baseball game

We’re nearing the end of club baseball/softball season, and the burnout is real. The time away from home, burning through gas to get somewhere for two hours with half your house packed only to pack back up and turn around and drive to the next two-hour destination is insane. I don’t even like the sport right now. There . . . I said it. I’m so sick of softball fields and wind-blown dirt in my face. I’ve seen so many balls thrown in the last two months that my eyes hurt. But I still show up. I love to see...

Keep Reading

Having Babies and Toddlers Is Exhausting—but So, So Sweet

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Family of four with baby and toddler on bed

I took the girls to one of our favorite coffee shops last week and all around me were parents of babies and toddlers. Their little ones ran about in the grassy area out back, toddling up and down the lawn, when it suddenly hit me with perfect clarity—the sun has nearly set on this season for me. It was a realization marked by internal tension, a mourning of the loss of one season contrasted by the joyful anticipation at the arrival of the next. It came out of nowhere and hit me like a tidal wave. Having five kids in...

Keep Reading

3 Common Phrases to Avoid Saying to Your Kids (and What To Say Instead)

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with young boy on couch

Learning to love yourself is hard work. I did not grow up loving myself. Instead, I always felt inadequate, and I felt the need to change myself to prove my worth.  I want more for my kids. I want my kids to know their inherent value and worth. I want to empower my kids to love and accept themselves.  My self-love journey, aided by the expertise of a counselor, has helped me realize there are some narratives from my childhood I needed to unlearn. I had to accept my emotions as helpful and not something to be pushed down. I...

Keep Reading

They Love Each Other (and Sometimes They Don’t)

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toddler girl lying with big brother, color photo

When I was pregnant with his baby sister, Forest kissed my belly and talked about all the wonderful things he would do with this little girl he already loved so much. His plans changed, however, after she was born, and the thing he wanted to do the most with her was place her gently in the trash can. Some mornings he would kiss her softly, other mornings he would walk into the room where I’d be nursing her and say, “Her doesn’t look precious to ME.” Two and a half years later, Forest’s feelings toward Grace remain about the same....

Keep Reading

As a Mother, I Matter Too

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter in living room

“What’s more important than me, Mammy?” my daughter asked. I looked at her, and she was looking at me. Her question wasn’t harsh or accusatory, it was curious. She was curious. We were in the kitchen, I was at the table working, and she asked me to help her find something. I told her I was finishing up some important work and then I would play with her. This is when she asked me what was more important than her. I bit my tongue to stop the words that wanted to rush out of my mouth. I wanted to proclaim...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Follow Your Beautiful Heart

In: Faith, Kids
Mother and daughter smiling

When I held you in my arms for the first time, it was like time stopped. As you looked up at me with innocence and new life, I was struck by the reality that my main role in your life would be to guide and direct you on the right path. I hoped I would do the best job possible. As I watched you grow, I basked in your joy of putting on your pretty dresses, adorned with layers of costume jewelry, parading around the house for your father and me to see. I dreamed often of what path you...

Keep Reading

My Daughter is “Extra” and the World Needs More People Like Her

In: Kids, Motherhood
girl jumping

She is . . . extra. She just is. All the time she is extra sad, and then extra “OMG, Mom-that-was-so-epic-let-me-tell-you-everything.” Extra energetic, then extra I’m too tired to help with any family chores. Extra hungry, then extra refuses to eat the food she just asked for because she’s full. RELATED: In Defense of the Wild Child Extra loves to show how much knowledge she has, then extra doesn’t want to do her homework because she’s too busy “being.” Extra defiant, then extra brings home adorable “I love you, Mom” art from school. There is no middle ground with this...

Keep Reading

Teach Your Kids to Be Kind to Those Who Are Different from Them

In: Kids, Living
Little boy with Down syndrome in pool

On the eve of Zeke starting kindergarten, I have many hopes for my youngest child, mostly that other kids treat those who are different from them with kindness. Or maybe with a slightly sassy, “SO WHAT?” to those who may be being unkind. This summer while on vacation we were having a great time swimming at a pool. There are few places that top a swimming pool in Zeke’s mind. He is SO happy in the water. Zeke was playing in the kiddie pool by himself while I sat at a table nearby. As he played, kids would enter the...

Keep Reading

Your Kids Are Exhausted by the Start of the School Year—Go Easy On Them

In: Kids
Child with tablet on couch

In the first weeks of school, your child has been a rockstar.  They have faced brand new situations—daily—multiple times a day. New people, new friends, new teachers. New schools, new classrooms, new procedures.   They have remembered a billion things. Which bus to ride. Which room to enter. Which hall to turn down. What their schedule is. Which class is next and what book they need for that class. When to be quiet. Where to sit. How to sit. Where the bathroom was. Where to line up. What the directions were. Thirty or so new names. They have been quiet for...

Keep Reading