How do we convince our children to use Share Your Wish? Children don’t always see the value in things the way we as adults do. Not only do most adults love the idea of giving to charity and teaching their youngsters about the importance of giving back, but most of us also enjoy the convenience behind Share Your Wish. As a guest, we no longer have to stress about what birthday present to get, nor do we have to worry about how we are going to carry the present into the party while navigating our children through a busy parking lot! As the host of the party we no longer have to clean out our trunks and houses, fearing that we won’t have enough room for all the gifts our child is about to receive. Most importantly, we as parents value the lesson behind SYW, which is learning at a young age the importance of helping and supporting others.
My very good friend called me in a panic last weekend. She really wants her soon-to-be six-year-old to use SYW for his birthday. He, however, is less than thrilled about the idea. The concept of not getting a room full of gifts has him very concerned. So what do we do about this? I did think of some ideas of how we can better explain the benefits to our older children, and maybe even convince them to use the site themselves!
The first thing all parents can do with children, who are old enough, is to sit down with them and really go through the site. Tell them about SYW; let them help in selecting charities; ask them what would be a gift they’d love to receive from their friends; and perhaps even allow them to go to the store to pick it out after the gift fund has been received. I think the more you include your child in the process the more likely they are to want to participate!
After the party is over, parents can still do things to keep the idea of charity fresh in your child’s mind. Perhaps by continuing to support that charity at different times throughout the year, while always keeping your child part of the process. Many charities have newsletters too, which you can sign up for on their website. Of course, your child will also be able to display their SYW Rewards Certificate proudly, serving as a constant reminder of how they helped others.
Share Your Wish is truly a teaching experience. We need to inspire our children to give back, because it is the best gift of all.