teaching kids how fortunate they are(6 Posts)
I got really cross with my 8yo this morning for whining that she wanted a new coat for school when she already a perfectly functioning coat. You know the drill, you feel like they are so spoiled, don't know how lucky they are, money doesn't grow on trees etc. Cue rolling of eyes by dd and general escalation before school. Anyway, I was thinking about this afterwards and wondered whether I should volunteer with her at a soup kitchen on similar so that she can see for herself that not everyone is as lucky as she is. It's not something I've ever done either alone or with the kids. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this?
My daughter has just turned 7 but a few months ago when she was 6 she complained and moaned about me not buying her a dress up costume after we had just come back from holiday. The week before we had been away she had been away with her dad too. I was so angry and horrified that she couldn't see that she was so lucky.
When we got home I pulled out the laptop and loaded up some red cross footage of children truly suffering around the world and then I sat her down for a long chat about what was happening to children who were starving and fleeing massive violence and compared it to her strop over the costume. I did it all in age appropriate language and she cried but understood. Then we set up 20p of her £1 pocket money to go into a fund to go to charity. She has been very good since, although my nan did worry I had scarred her for a while!
I think you'd need to look into it to see if an 8yr old would be allowed. They might just get in the way.
I also think that if you're going to volunteer you've got to commit to it properly for at least a year and that's more likely to come from a perspective of wanting to help than wanting teach your DD a lesson.
Doing it purely to teach her a lesson makes me a bit uncomfortable, its not a zoo to see the poor people.
Good points The internet's a good one. I buy a sandwich and a hot drink if I meet a homeless person. I've done this from when he was small so he knows that there are people less well off. He's 15 now and will sometimes use his pocket money to buy the Big Issue if he bumps into a seller so it's sort of worked. You could do things like donate her old toys to the children's hospital too. There's often an age restriction on soup kitchen's though and it's absolutely not a good way to teach a child a lesson.
Have a look at charity websites like toilet twinning. It might make her appreciate even the most basic services we have in this country.
Oxfam and Comic Relief have excellent education pages on their websites that would be age appropriate.
I totally agree with you OP and it's hard to find the best way to tackle this.
I wanted to volunteer in a soup kitchen at Xmas and my DD was up for the idea but they wouldn't accept under eighteen year olds.
So instead we joined a friend who has created his own sandwich run.
He makes a stack of sandwiches and wraps them in clingfilm and goes out to the city centre in the evening to give them to the homeless.
I was a bit worried at first but we found that most homeless people try to remain in well lit areas where the police do their rounds, as otherwise they are at risk of violence or abuse.
We are on our second year of doing this now and all the street sleepers we meet are amenable and often very chatty.
We go out around 10pm as that's when people are looking for doorways to sleep in and things get pretty settled.
Would your DD be allowed a late night to do something like this?
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