Raising Kind, Generous Children: How & Why It’s Important


Generosity doesn’t come naturally. We see it in our children at a very young age. While we don’t teach them to be selfish, they tend to hold on to their toys and have a hard time sharing them with their siblings or little friends. 

Same happens with adults. We tend to live self-centered lives. Our schedules are crowded and time is very limited. If we are not intentional, there is no headspace left for others in need and it becomes unviable to give time and resources to anyone outside our own family circle.

It is more blessed to give than to receive

Acts of kindness and generosity are a blessing not only for those on the receiving end, but for those who give. The Bible says in Acts 20:35 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Understanding that there are others in need in our own community, helps us take the focus off of our own lives (and problems) and focus for a little bit on others. And this brings blessing upon us. That’s why it is so important to start having conversations with our children about a world where many other children and families don’t have what we have. Therefore we are in a blessed and unique position to share, give, and serve them, in whatever capacity we can (scroll down for some practical ideas).

Image: Three sets of hands holding a red heart

Why is so important to model and teach kindness and generosity?

I’m here to remind you today that we are who we are and we have what we have because of God’s love, grace, and generosity towards us. Kindness and generosity are part of God’s attributes and this is why it is so important for us to pause our busy lives and find time to understand the needs of others and do something about it.

The Bible says in 1 John 3:18, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” In a fallen world, love, kindness, and generosity need to be a part of our family values. My heart behind these lines is to inspire you, with simple and practical ideas for raising kind, generous children, capable of feeling love and compassion for others and acting on it. 

Simple and meaningful ways for you and your family to love, give, and serve others 

  1. Your children’s birthday parties are a fantastic opportunity to cultivate a generous heart

When you throw a birthday party for your child, find a non-profit organization that benefits children. Ask what items they are currently needing. When you invite your guests to the party, include in the invitation a note to encourage guests to bring donations for children in need instead of gifts for the birthday boy or girl. 

Depending on the age of your child, have a conversation to prepare their heart and inspire them, and only do it if you can come to an agreement. Your child will still receive presents from you, family members, and probably close friends (in my humble opinion, 3-4 gifts are more than enough), giving room for guests and friends to bring gifts (donations) to other children who will really benefit from their help.

Find a big box and involve your family and children in the process of wrapping and decorating it, and speak to them about the impact of the donations in others’ lives. Believe me when I say your and your children’s hearts will be full when you see that box full of items to donate as guests arrive to the party—also, giving the opportunity for others to give and serve.

We have been doing this for a few years and our family loves it!

We recently did it for our youngest son’s birthday and we plan to do it over the summer for our oldest son and daughter’s birthday parties. They are currently 8 and 6, and we are already planning on compiling donations for boys and girls around their ages in need of (new) clothes, personal items, and toys.

The pictures below show the box we put together for my youngest son’s first, second, and third birthday parties, for three consecutive years. At every party, we collected diapers, wipes, baby shampoo and lotion, blankets, and other baby essentials. We gave these to Hope, a church ministry dedicated to helping underserved families in Miami and Homestead. The third picture makes me very happy because, for my baby boy’s third birthday, I joined forces with one of my close friends to throw a joint Paw Patrol birthday party for our baby boys. The Mommy Patrol filled a big box with items that blessed babies in our city. Our hearts were full as well as the hearts of our guests who happily showed up with their donations to celebrate our boys.

Image: A young boy stands next to a donation collection box at a birthday party

Image: A mother holds her son for a photo with a birthday party guest next to a donation box

Image: Valerie and two of her mom friends pose next to a donation box at a Paw Patrol birthday party

  1. Get involved with your local church’s community outreach initiatives 

Usually, churches (I can speak for the ones I know, so I’ll premise here that I’m talking about Christian churches) live out the Word of God by taking care of the poor and truly doing a great job sharing God’s love both tangibly–giving and serving–and spiritually, by sharing the gospel of salvation.

These opportunities are wonderful because they are usually well-organized and only require your time to volunteer on a specific day and time. Sometimes you will be invited to donate resources. Take these events as your opportunity to serve others with your family! Model a giving heart by serving your community and having your children see you and do it themselves. This will impact their little hearts and create in them the space to feel compassion and act on it by giving time and effort to intentionally serve those in need. 

Back in December, our church participated in the Samaritan’s Purse initiative for Christmas, so our children put together a box with personal items and toys they bought. My daughter put together a box for a girl around her age and my son did the same for a boy.

Image: Two children pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child

Image: A child fills out a label for a shoebox gift

Image: Valerie and her kids assembling and labeling a shoebox for an initiative of Samaritan's Purse

Also, we recently went with our church to an elementary school to help fix their gardens and pick up trash. Our three children (3,6 and 8) had so much fun and it was truly a sweet experience for the five of us as a family.

Image: Three young children help mulch a tree at a local school

Image: A little boy participates in a community service project

Image: Three kids participating in a local service project with their dad

  1. Join Miami Mom Collective’s events and check out our Local Nonprofits Guide

As part of Miami Mom Collective’s heart to equip, encourage, and empower moms in Miami, we want to help moms in need and serve them. Last holiday season we launched the Snack Pack Project. We partnered with Branches and created a wish list on Amazon with snack items that the organization collected to put together snack packs for food-insecure children in underserved communities in Miami. It was such an easy and convenient way for busy moms to help!

I sat with my children in front of the computer, explained to them what this initiative was about, and had them choose the snacks we would buy to give to these children for them to have food over the holidays. We prayed for them after we bought the items. 

MMC is planning an in-person event where moms and children will be able to give and serve together, so stay tuned! We will share more soon.

Image: Three children speak with a representative from Branches, a local nonprofit
This was at Miami Mom Collective’s Hanging with Heroes event in November last year. We had a nonprofit, Branches, in a booth receiving donations to prepare Thanksgiving meals for underserved families. Our children brought donations and Sarah, from Branches, explained to them what they planned on doing with the foods they collected that day.

Last but not least, we have put together a guide to non-profits in Miami that are impacting the lives of many in need. Click here to read more about the organizations we have highlighted and easy ways to give and serve.

Do you serve and give back with your family? If so, I would love to read your ideas and experiences of teaching and modeling kindness and generosity. Comment below!


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