Thursday, February 07, 2013

Giving

I've been asked if and how I teach my kids about giving.  I've gone back and forth on this but have decided to take a more laissez-faire approach.  Not that I don't admire and respect parents who sit their kids down and help them divide their allowances into piles for spending, saving, and giving, or who insist that a tenth go to church.  Heck, I may end up there myself as well.

But for now, I've lectured them on the importance of giving, talked about what Amy and I give to, and provided opportunities for them to make little contributions, but have otherwise hung back and seen what they'll do.  Maybe they're too young to make the choice themselves, and need to get into the habit so that it is engrained in them as they get older. 

But maybe they're not too young to choose between competing uses of scarce resources, and they'll be able to learn the important lesson that it truly is "more blessed to give than to receive."  So I sit down with Jada at the end of the year and I ask her to think about how much of her money she wants to give to charity, and then help her find a charity that she can get excited about.  And I give them giving envelopes from church and ask them to think about how much they want to put in that envelope to bring to church.

I suppose there is value in providing some hard and fast guidance, and as noted I may very well end up there.  But for now I'm letting it play out for a little bit, to see where they land of their own accord.  
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