Cincinnati Family Magazine

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February 23, 2024

Giving Families Teaches Kids to Be Helpers

Help your child learn to be a good, helping person with the online resource, Giving Families.

Whether it’s sweeping the floor, putting away clothes, or showing another kid how to tie his shoelaces, tots love to help. How can a parent foster that instinct for kindness? Encourage kids to be “helpers,” says Beth Novak, mother of two, a kindergarten teacher and founder of Giving Families, an online resource that both educates parents and challenges families to simply, do good.

“It’s a combination of online and offline activities that weave together lessons in compassion and empathy and financial literary skills,” she explains. Here’s how it works: Parents sign up for free, then purchase credits to donate to organizations that rotate on a monthly basis. Kids can choose to help animals, people, or the Earth, with one organization tied to each category, giving kids the power to make a choice without overwhelming them, and giving parents a chance to learn what interests and inspires their children. Novak says that the focus is really more on the child’s development, and learning crucial concepts like “Save, Spend and Share” rather than raising thousands of dollars for non-profits.

“The idea is to teach children so they become adults who continue to volunteer, donate and give,” she explains. Offline, families can participate in monthly “giving challenges” to suit their busy schedules, for example, a park crawl: visit a local park and spend 10 minutes cleaning and 20 minutes playing before moving on to another park.

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