As Christmas is just around the corner, I have been frantically trying to find the best deals for gifts, asking what people want, and helping my girls get in the spirit of Christmas. A big part of this is finding ways to do acts of kindness and discovering the joy of giving to others. But, what does that mean to a four and a two-year-old?
Amidst our wardrobe battles with my four-year-old, my husband and I have noticed an opening for a discussion around the ideas of gratitude and poverty. My little one has a dresser full of clothes but only wants to wear dresses and tights. It has gotten to the point where my husband and I insisted she try out a pants and shirt outfit for a couple of days without complaining before resuming the “pick your own outfit” routine. In the heat of the arguments, we found ourselves saying things like, “there are children in this world who would be so happy to have one clean pair of pants and a shirt to wear.” Even though my little one seemed to be surprised by this idea and seemed to care deeply, this is pretty abstract for a four-year-old. What can I do to make it more real for her?
My husband and I brainstormed ideas. We could take her to a food kitchen, let her help with charity organizations, find you-tube videos of starving children in poverty. In the end, I decided to start small. I asked my four-year-old and my two-year-old if they would pick one toy to give away to a child who doesn’t have much. At first, the thought of giving away one toy was pure madness to my daughters. Then, we discussed how it might make a child in poverty feel to receive that one toy. My four-year-old seemed to really get it. My two-year-old, not so much. She’s just going along with big sis at this point, which is fine.
For a great list of donation centers in the Dayton area, try here. We might be trying out Project Smile with our stuffed animal donations. Happy Giving!