Teaching Kids to Pay It Forward
“Teaching Kids to Pay It Forward”
If there’s one thing that makes the world go ‘round, it ain’t money — it’s paying it forward! You
know, random acts of kindness. This type of kindness must be taught to our children. And be
sure to teach them that this isn’t just about money, even though financial donations to charities
and the like are lovely things to do, but paying it forward can be the simplest act of kindness.
BE AN EXAMPLE
Lead the way in your family for paying it forward. Whether that means picking up the
Starbucks tab for the person behind you while your kids are in the car or letting the
frazzled family go ahead of you at the airport, if you lead the life of a kind person, that
will translate to your children. And tell them this kindness is purposeful — by being kind to
others we are making the world a better place to be for everyone!
Kids like to get involved in what their parents are doing. Why not encourage a
brainstorming session about how the kids can pay it forward in their own life. Doing a
lemonade stand on the weekends? Maybe they give every few cups away for free to
brighten someone’s day. Maybe you decide to volunteer somewhere as a family be it the
local animal shelter or a children’s hospital. Your kids can also practice their handwriting,
sending letters to lonely seniors in the local nursing home. The possibilities are endless
and your children will carry these values with them as they grow into kind adults.
Encourage your child to share their random acts of kindness and the notion of paying it
forward with their friends and teachers! This isn’t necessarily taught in schools, but if
your child is regularly making it a point to be kind to others beyond their day to day, they
can teach this habit to the other children in their circle. And if the teachers get involved,
perhaps the whole school can take on a project as a whole! Paying it forward relies on
communication and spreading awareness, so be sure to share with your child that telling
others about how to pay it forward is an act of paying it forward itself!
A small kindness at the outset may seem tiny and like it doesn’t make a difference. You and I
know better and now your children will, too. By expressing the importance of paying it forward
and being a kind person, your child will grow into an adult with a big heart and a generous spirit.