Ode to Working Moms Part 3: Giving Back as a Family

Ode to Working Moms Part 3: Giving Back as a Family

This is the third in a series of three blog posts about the challenges and triumphs of working motherhood, written by Jo Kirchner, CEO of Primrose Schools®. Read part 1 and part 2.

In the first two parts of this blog series, I discussed the challenges of balancing time between work and family and making time for yourself as a working mom. Now I want to discuss a third topic that is near and dear to my heart: giving back.

As mothers, we have been called upon to give life and nourishment to something beautiful and helpless. In this way, we are wired to help those less fortunate than ourselves. This is not to say that fathers don’t do their part to make the world a better place, but we mothers (and working mothers in particular) have a unique set of skills that make us very good at it!

We have cultivated talents in the workplace and honed our time management, teamwork and problem-solving skills. We know how to apply them to other areas of our lives where they may come in handy. We are leaders and role models, and we have so much to give — to our families and our communities.

When my children were growing up, it was important to me that they learned the value of service early on. I strove to model a sense of philanthropy to them and to involve them as much as possible.

There are many ways to give back as a family. Including your children in community service activities helps build and reinforce the character traits they have learned in school — the importance of sharing, generosity and showing compassion to everyone they meet.

Actions always speak louder than words, and the best way to teach your children how to behave is to model that behavior. Over time, your children will make giving back a regular part of their lives and will one day pass those values on to their own families.

Here are some ways to involve your family in giving back:

  1. Help a neighbor or friend. You may have an older adult on your street who would love a home-cooked meal made by you and your child. Maybe a family friend is sick, and you and your child can walk her dog to lighten her load. When a snowstorm hits, think about whose driveways you can shovel with your child. Watching you identify ways to help people, just by being observant of others, helps children learn to do this themselves.
  2. Donate clothes, toys and books. Go through your child’s closet or toy bin with them periodically and pick out a few items in good condition that they’ve outgrown or are ready to pass along to a child in need.
  3. Adopt a family during the holidays. Children love to pick out toys, books and clothes for others if given the chance. You can create food baskets and let your children help select canned goods, fruit and treats to donate.
  4. Create a “giving jar.” Encourage your children to contribute part of their allowances to this jar regularly. When the jar is full, you can decide as a family on the best place to donate the money.
  5. Pick up litter. Grab some protective gloves and take your children to their favorite park, shoreline or green space to pick up litter.
  6. Embrace a family cause. Children can do so many things to help others, from writing cards to children in the hospital to collecting old blankets for the local animal shelter. Talk about what’s important to your family and then look for ways to get involved.

Introducing your children to community service will teach them that helping others is a way of life for your family, and it reinforces important character-building traits that they will need as adults. That’s why “giving without expectation” is a central part of our Balanced Learning® curriculum at Primrose Schools. Together, we’re helping children grow into kind, caring and generous adults who will help make the future brighter for everyone.

For more on giving back as a family and teaching generosity, check out:

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