This year I wanted that to change. I knew, however, that teaching her to be a giving person wasn't going to be an easy task. After all, the mind of a three year old is largely egocentric. It's prewired to be self-centered and focus on "me".
I thought the best way to approach the topic of giving with a three year old was to begin with something that she could relate to - books, of course!
So with the help of our friendly librarian, I gathered up a few good ones on giving and sharing, both fictitious and non-fictitious:
Generosity by Cynthia A. Klingel
The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in Need by Stan & Jan Berenstain
The Boy Who Wouldn't Share by Mike Reiss and illustrated by David Castrow
Sharing by Kathryn Kyle
After we read these books, I told baby bookworm that we were going to go to the toy store to pick out a new toy for a child who needed one. Then I explained that we would take it to our local police station for the police officers to deliver her toy, along with other toys people had donated, to boys and girls on Christmas.
I'm not going to lie and say that baby bookworm exclaimed, "Let's go! Come on! That sounds like fun!"
What she heard was that I was buying a toy that was NOT for her, which did NOT make her happy.
I'm also not going to lie and say that I didn't break down and get a toy for her, too. Because I did. But, generosity is not a trait learned overnight. And it's not one that you can only display one month out of the year.
|Baby bookworm donating her toy at |
at our local police station
"To be more giving as a family, all year round."
Because really, that's the way that baby bookworm will learn this value. Through myself and my husband as a model, and through habit. I foresee our giving activities this upcoming year to be simple, though. Picking up litter in our neighborhood, giving time to a friend, donating clothes and books, helping out at a soup kitchen or with the elderly, writing thank you notes to people we love...and I'm hoping that by next Christmas, 2013, I just might hear from her when I suggest buying a toy for another little boy or girl:
"Come on! Let's go! That sounds like fun!"