Too much free time in the summer can bring out the self-centred side in the sweetest of children.

Suddenly whines of, “I’m bored” are coupled with an intense desire to satisfy their need for the latest video game or toy — no matter the cost. Instead of giving in and purchasing the toy du jour, use the summer to cultivate kindness in your children with these helpful hints from Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, an international development organization that helps children around the world:

Educate your child to think beyond their world
Clip news articles or photos that show what life is like for children their age in other countries. It will teach them to count their blessings and understand the needs that exist. A website like has a gift catalogue that allows children in Canada to look at a variety of practical items that are needed by children overseas, such as glasses or emergency food.

Inspire your child to take action
It’s easy for parents to make a donation and tell their kids about it, but making the child responsible for raising and collecting the donation is an important part of learning generosity. Ask your child if they think the child they are trying to help would appreciate a portion of their allowance or encourage them to look for neighbourhood jobs like pet-sitting, pulling weeds, or washing cars for donation money. You’ll be surprised how doing a little work to raise funds for someone in need will make your child’s heart grow.


Affirm your child’s efforts
As a parent, be enthusiastic, supportive, and encouraging, regardless of whether your child succeeds or fails in their goal. An egocentric attitude replaced by kindness and generosity is worth celebrating at any age.

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