How To Raise Generous Kids

It’s a world with too many problems. It’s a world with too much suffering. It’s a world with too much selfishness. We can’t fix all of this as people nor as parents. But we can try to help a little.

We’ve talked before about Ron Lieber’s clever description for the goal of most parents. We’re trying, he says, to raise kids who are “the opposite of spoiled.” (he has a book of the same name). That is to say, kids who are not just self-sufficient, but have energy and resources left over to help others.

You want to raise kids who aren’t entitled. Who are decent and kind, part of the solutions not the problems of the world and of their generation. Successful or struggling, you want your kids to be generous. With their time, with their money, with their talents.

So what’s the secret? There isn’t one. Except, as we’ve said over and over and over again, modeling the traits you’d like to see in them. If you want generous kids, you have to show them what a generous parent is. If you want your kid to be a helper, you have to show them what that looks like.

There is no better time than the holiday season to do this. While other families so easily slip into the temptations of materialism and gluttony on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years or the countless sales commemorating them, you can use this time to focus on people who are less fortunate. You show them what it means to be a giver–by volunteering, by donating, by thinking about what others need rather than what you want. You can take your kids with you. You can give them an opportunity to have input, to identify a cause or a family to help.

You can, you must–be what you want to teach your kids. It will make them better, and it will improve you in the process. Together, you’ll make the world better.

At Daily Dad and Daily Stoic, we’re trying to come together and feed THREE MILLION people. In 2020-2023, we raised more than 550,000 combined dollars, which provided meals for over 5 million people through Feeding America. This year we are personally putting  up the first $30,000, with our overall goal to raise $300,000. Every dollar we raise provides 10 meals, so if we hit our goal, that will be three MILLION meals. Just head over to—together we can make a small dent in a big problem.

So let’s do it. Rather than let the Black Friday spirit of materialism and selfishness infect us, let us contribute to something bigger than ourselves. Let us be good Stoics today.

P.S. If you live outside the U.S., check out Action Against Hunger—the global humanitarian organization that fights against hunger across nearly 50 countries. Click here to donate. Let’s be good Stoics today. Let’s fulfill our obligation.

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