Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.

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MommaT's picture MommaT

Maybe have 3 piggy banks (or fun containers). 1 for spending, 1 for saving, and 1 for giving. Excellent teaching opportunity with each bank. Now the giving might be a little difficult but I think if you made it fun, it might be a little easier. Like maybe start by buying things with his "giving" bank. For example, go to the toy store or book store and let him buy a book or toy to give and let him pick one for himself.

And don't forget, giving means more than money. So maybe his giving might be to donate time. Or maybe make something for someone. Maybe his "business" can be to make cards for people. His giving will be the time and cards made and his reward will be the money he earns by selling the cards. And I'm sure he's already got a sweet little employee waiting to help (T.).

And I'd reward him for every act of giving he did with a "giving goodie." You're so creative, you can come up with someting amazing, I'm sure.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I love the idea of the different containers, MommaT--what a great way to itemize--mentally and physically--the money. And yes, you're right--giving is so much more than just money.


mouse's picture mouse

We're about to start an allowance for Scooter, and we're planning on doing the same 3 banks thing as MommaT suggested. I've got some small coffee cans from Trader Joe's that he and I will decorate for them.

It can be hard to come up with ways for younger kids to give time; most organized volunteer opportunities can't take kids for liability reasons. So I think we'll start slow on this and look for activities like community clean-up days.

I'm also in the process of getting myself into some volunteer positions. I'm not sure he sees the time I spend in his school in this capacity, but I think the time I spend at the Humane Society might help him understand about volunteering.

I do think that one key for turning philanthropy into a habit is to find opportunities that match one's interest. That's why my efforts tend towards animals, the environment, and education. Scooter will probably start out with these, just because they're what I'm doing, but I'll encourage him to head in his own direction as he gets older and has more available to him.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

You're right, mouse--when the outreach matches interests--especially in a small child, then it's more likely to succeed. I'm excited about the "jar" method, too--I hadn't ever thought of that.


Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

We haven't gotten far with this. Not past the virtue of putting money in your piggy bank for savings. I have high hopes of volunteering as a family when the kids are older.
Putting some of our money in the collection plate at church, that's the furthest our B has gone with giving.