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A Guest Blog: Teaching the Act of Giving

MomPrep Expert Dr. Kathryn Smerling has some very wise words about how to help our children and ourselves cope with the aftermath of the recent storm.

A Guest Blog: Teaching the Act of Giving

I am discombobulated. The aftermath of mega-hurricane Sandy has left even those unaffected by the ravages of the storm anxiety-ridden, disconnected and thrown off balance. The feeling is universal. It is with wonder and awe (and a sense of fear) that we are powerless to the larger aspects of Nature’s wrath.

In that we’re all feeling distracted, this may be a good time to set a good example for your children. Many of us are living with such excess that there is no way we can reread all the books we have, replay all the video games, nor wear all the clothes that we have outgrown. This may be the perfect time to teach your children that the act of giving is as important as the act of receiving. Often kids need a concrete example of what recycling means beyond paper and plastic. Let them know that clothes can be recycled as well. Take your child into their closet and find things that no longer fit. Explain that someone else could actually be able to wear that t-shirt, those shoes, and cuddle with that teddy bear. Together, you can take these things to your local synagogue, church, pantry, or Red Cross. Have your child share the experience by taking photos or writing a summary that they can share with the class at school. The example you have set for your child can be passed on to other kids at school. Thus a community begins to be rebuilt and the sense of anxiety is replaced by an act of kindness to those in need.

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One Response

  1. Great article! I’d like to add my personal thoughts on a bedtime routine with a similar lesson.
    When my daughter is old enough (just 5 months now) we plan to have a bedtime routine in which we say 3-5 things we are grateful for that day. I’d prefer to end each day being thankful & teach her to be mindful of all she has in her life.

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