Teaching Your Kids Early About Charity and How They Can Help

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There is great value in teaching your kids about charity from an early age. This is because understanding and being actively involved in charitable causes is a great way to develop empathy, which is something that children will be able to use well into adulthood. Being genuinely empathetic to the feelings and living conditions of others, from a local to a global scale, is not only essential to being a good person, it’s also necessary for both adults and children to function in social situations. In fact, The Conversation points out that developing empathy allows children to better navigate social scenarios, as well as avoid social traumas that may lead to mental or emotional problems in adulthood.

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The best way for children to learn about charity is first-hand experience, and the easiest way to do this is to start at home. This can be done in the simple but powerful act of joining a charity car boot sale. Various charitable organisations like the Low Mill Outdoor Centre, the New Dawn Educational Centre, and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance have benefited a lot from the profits made through car boots sales. For your children, every sale is an example of how simply taking care of the stuff at home can contribute to different causes. By explaining to them how the proceeds of the items they sold go to good causes, you can also impart lessons in avoiding waste, the global value of reusing items to limit consumption, as well as how to declutter your home.

Car boot sales may also pave the way for larger charitable actions, such as organising a birthday party where in lieu of gifts, you can ask your child’s friends or classmates to bring donations to children’s welfare organisations instead. This is another great way to start your lessons on charity at home. You can also consult charitable organisations for ideas, because more often than not, they’re more than willing to assist anyone who’s willing to extend a helping hand.

In fact, nowadays, charities have made it easier for every member of the family to join in on the action by offering a variety of undertakings. These can range from active events like fun runs, group walks, and cycle rides to simple activities that everyone can join in with.Save the Children have a dedicated Christmas Jumper Day, which takes a traditional festive concept and applies it to a good cause. This is perfect for families who want to help but don’t have the time to leave their home. Not only can children easily take part in these events, they’ll also be getting a practical lesson in the variety of ways charitable actions can raise awareness for certain issues. With your guidance, you can even allow your child to research on their own and see which charities they themselves want to be involved in.

Remember that the earlier kids learn about charity, the more they’ll be able to take these lessons well into their adult lives. For more insights on raising a healthy family, check out our article on The Next Generation.

 

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So What Exactly is Sustainable Living?

Sustainable living, sustainable parenting, eco-friendly lifestyle, green living are very much the buzzwords of the moment. Politicians everywhere are discussing ‘plastic’ , recycling, climate-change, The Paris Climate Agreement etc and people are trying to work out how best to live in a more eco-friendly manner. Yet there doesn’t seem to be a definitive way to live sustainably. Should we all be drinking out of reusable coffee cups, dressing our babies in organic baby clothes, wrapping them in a bamboo swaddle and looking for ‘soil association’ or Fairtrade cotton labels on everything we put on our skin and wear on our bodies?

What is Sustainable Living?

How can we live sustainably then? There are so many ways to define sustainability but in a nutshell, it all boils down to us living in such a way that our basic needs for water, food and housing/shelter are met without causing any harm to the environment. So we live in a way that is mindful of future generations and do what we can to protect earth’s resources for the future.

It is important too that we use fewer of our planet’s natural resources and cause less pollution, in order to live sustainably.

Making Our Homes Eco-Friendly

It doesn’t matter what size house you live in as there’s always something you can do to make it more eco-friendly. For starters, think about your energy usage. Do you really need a tumble-dryer? It’s all very well buying bamboo baby clothes and other green baby bits and bobs but ideally let them dry naturally and don’t waste energy on them. Buying organic kids clothes is a good start in your efforts to live sustainably but don’t spoil the effect by sticking everything in a very wasteful tumble-dryer. (Lecture over!)

Do all the lights need to still be on in the living room when you and your baby girls dress are sitting eating your dinner in the kitchen? Essentially you need to consider how you can reduce the amount of energy you use to heat your house. If you can do that you will be reducing pollution. Putting good insulation in your home is the first step as if your house can stay at the right temperature then you’ll obviously use less heating.

In an ideal world too, you would try to get your energy from a company who offers green electricity, but one step at a time …

Remember to Recycle

Most of the things we use everyday can be recycled and once you know which ones can’t, it’s easy to stop buying them or at least cut down. Most of the things around us in our daily lives, use up earth’s resources so try as much as possible to look for natural and/or biodegradable products. If there are items in your wardrobe you no longer want, then pass them on or take them to a charity shop.

In brief … Put your food waste in a compost bin and try to buy products with as little packaging as possible. Don’t throw your old mobile in the bin, take it to be recycled. And remember to recycle paper, glass and plastic too. Last but not least, try to source sustainable food.

As parents and grandparents, we all want our planet to give today’s children a healthy tomorrow, so sustainable living is pretty much essential!

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