2017 has been declared the “Year of Giving” in the UAE.

We, at British Islamic Nursery have decided to join in and encourage our dear families to get involved.

“ Sharing”  is one of the leading concept we thrive to nurture in our young students.

Parents of young children often complain that their little ones have a hard time sharing, countless time we hear parents say that their child is just not the sharing type.

So it’s only natural to wonder : Do Generosity and Altruism develop naturally in humans or can it be taught?

Developmental psychologists tend to believe that we are all capable of sharing and although it might vary from one person to the other it is mainly an acquired behavior.

So here are few tips to help your  child master the art of  giving.

1.Start by teaching Gratitude:

At the roots of children lack of generosity lay two reasons: jealousy and discontent.

Being unhappy with what one has and or wanting what others have can be tackled by teaching children to be grateful.

Teaching our children to live a grateful life can’t be accomplished overnight it’s a lifelong lesson that requires constant reminder, but the year of giving offers kids and parents alike countless opportunities to practice giving thanks to the people who deserve it, need it and more importantly to Allah (swt).

First, show your kids how being thankful is the gift that keeps on giving!

In fact Research repeatedly shows that gratitude-rich people score higher in happiness and optimism and have fewer instances of stress and depression.

More importantly teach them what Allah (swt) says in the Quran:

And remember when your Lord proclaimed, “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you in favour” Quran: Surah Ibrahim 14, Ayah7]

Make your child understand that Allah (swt) promises us that if we are grateful meaning that  we say al hamdulillah, thank you (or even better Jazak Allah khayran) and are happy with what we have, He (swt) will give us more.

2. Treat Others the way you want to be treated.

A postdoctoral research from Harvard University gave 157 , 3 years olds stickers.

One group of children were asked if they would like for others to share their stickers with them, to which the majority of the subjects responded positively, a second group of children weren’t asked the question.

When it was then suggested to the subjects to share their stickers with another child, an increasing number of children from the group who was asked if they wished others shared with them, decided to  share  their own stickers while most children from the other group chose to keep theirs instead.

This study proves that the way we behave is directly linked to the way we wish others behave with us.

This is further proved in the hadith below;

Abu Hamzah Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) ,reported : the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said : “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.”

Related by Bukhari & Muslim

3. Tahadu Tahabbu

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Give each other gifts and you will love each other.”

al-Adab al-Mufrad 594

Educate your little one on the importance of friendship and brotherhood.

Teaching your child  how to cultivate strong, positive relationships with their siblings, classmates by sharing will not only prevent the never stopping fight over the favorite toy it will provide your child with a very powerful insight later in life.

Furthermore on a larger scale it promotes social awareness and solidarity.

4. Family Affair
Get involved as a family by joining a charity, prepare food to distribute together, keep a family sadaqa jar, organize a family donation day and get your children to donate toys, clothes or books, this way you get to teach your children about Giving and spend meaningful family time

5. Aim High
Ultimately the most important point is to teach your little one that although, getting more, making our friends happy, spending fun filled family time are amazing rewards of Altruism, however the best and highest reward of all is gaining Allah’s (swt) Satisfaction.

And that this is truly what we should all keep in mind as our number one aim when we GIVING.

Are you ready to start your family on the trail to Khayr today? Share your tips in the comments section.

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