Well-being is important for children, families and staff at St Joseph's and we focus on different aspects of well-being each half-term. Please find below details of this half-term's focus, or click on the icons to find out about previous areas of well-being we have looked at.
This half-term's well-being focus is ‘generosity’.
Think of ways that you and your child can be generous. You could share time, skills, food, money.
Talk to your child about ways to be generous. Look at our Random Acts of Kindness section and see if there are ways of being generous there.
Besides being generous with your family you can share your generosity with the wider community.
Please see some ideas below:
Donate, shop or help out at a local charity.
Join 'Helpfulpeeps' online and help out neighbours.
Find out if there is an older person, someone with disabilities or a mum who finds it hard to get out to do shopping- offer to help them out.
Babysit for each other.
Choose a national charity to donate to (even £1 can make a difference) -talk to your child about why you cose that charity. Encourage your child to do the same.
If you are not involved in cooking or cleaning in your house- offer to help more.
Some ideas to help raise a generous child:
- Do it yourself – Children will watch and copy what you do.
- Talk about it – Point out when others are generous, and explain how God is generous with us, and therefore, we should be generous with others.
- Encourage it – Look for opportunities to help your children practice being generous and doing things for others.
Check out the age-appropriate strategies below.
Raising a generous younger child (ages 3 to 5)
Younger children are little sponges, and they’re keen observers. Developmentally, nursery/reception children are ready to understand the concept of sharing and are learning how to do things for themselves: getting dressed, tying their shoes, riding a bike. Learning autonomy and initiative is key at this developmental stage. Look for ways to help your children practice becoming a cheerful giver on their own.
- Model generosity by being kind and generous to those in need. Idea: Keep granola bars in your car or bag to give out to the homeless, or take a meal to a sick neighbour.
- Talk about generosity and point out when you see others being generous. “Oh, look how Helen is sharing her biscuits. How generous of her.”
- Practice giving: When there’s a gift to give, have your child help select, wrap, and give it.
- Practice hospitality by welcoming other children into your home, so your kids get practice sharing their space and their toys with others.
- Don’t force generosity or giving, which could backfire. Instead, give positive reinforcement when you see your child sharing, giving, or being generous. Tip: School psychologist Whitney Hutcheson recommends using “I statements” to help children build awareness about how their behavior impacts others. For example, “When I saw you sharing your favorite toy with your friend, that made me feel happy.”
Raising a generous school-age child (ages 5 to 11)
Developmentally, school age children need to develop life skills and learn competence at tasks and social interactions. Whitney recommends helping children learn how to be functional members of a community by taking on age-appropriate chores, like setting the table, putting away their laundry, clearing plates, etc.
- Facilitate generosity by giving your child an allowance (or have them earn the allowance by doing chores) and have them keep the money in labeled jars: save, spend, and give.
- Make it their own. Have your children go through their toys and set aside the ones they don’t want to keep. Then either: Sell the toys at a garage sale and give away all or some of the proceeds to a charity, or, have your kids go with you to donate the toys to a charity.
- Sponsor a child in a developing country and keep the photo on the refrigerator. Involve your child in the relationship by reading and writing letters together. Learning about what life is like for children in developing countries helps put things in perspective.
- Find age-appropriate volunteer opportunities that you can do together as a family, such as collecting winter coats for homeless shelters, cleaning up trash at a local park, or helping an elderly neighbor with yard work.
Raising a generous teen (ages 12 to 19)
At this stage, adolescents are developing a sense of identity and often look to parents, friends, teachers, pastors, and coaches to help them answer the question, “Who am I?” Encouraging initiative to care for others can help teens develop generosity as part of their identity.
- Model good household finances by explaining how you prioritise charitable giving in your monthly/yearly budget.
- Continue (or start) encouraging your teen to use the save/spend/give model for managing their money.
- If you support charities, explain this to your teens, and involve them. Read their newsletters together. Go to fundraiser events together.
- Be generous together. Take your teens and some of their friends to serve at a local homeless shelter, do a service project. Let your teens see you being kind and generous to those in need. Something simple and low-cost, would be to go share a meal with the homeless.
- Make it their own. Ask your teen if there is a cause or issue that stirs their heart. Help them come up with ways to do something about it by serving, volunteering, or fundraising.