'Tis the season for giving thanks and giving back. If you're not already doing it, it is the perfect time of year for teaching kids how important it is to give back to their community. Whether they choose to donate money or time, here's how to teach your child to give back:
Choose a charity: Check out Charity Navigator and browse info about hundreds of charitable organizations around the world. Then talk with your kids about the kinds of charities that might interest them and help them choose an organization that they would like to support.
Time or money? The next big decision you need to make with your kids is whether they will donate their time to the organization or give a financial gift out of their own earnings. For little kids, it may mean more to go help at a soup kitchen for an afternoon than to hand over an abstract amount of money. Tweens and teens, on the other hand, know all too well what that money could buy, so it may be more meaningful (and easier on their tight schedules) to give a monetary donation.
Match it: Whether your kids decide to give time or money, see if you can match their donation with some time or money of your own. It will give your kids a strong sense of accomplishment to know that you support a charity they believe in.
Repeat: Once you've settled on a charity and a method for giving back, make it a tradition (every month, every 6 months, or every year) to donate again.