Humans often innately possess the drive to make the world a better place. There are a lot of ways to help out those in need, but the best step you can take toward making the world a better place is teaching your children to be philanthropic. It’s vital that we instill a sense of empathy in the next generation, teaching them the importance of making the effort to give their time and knowledge to causes that help improve the world. You can start teaching your children the importance of philanthropy from any age and there are various ways to go about doing so.

Simply teach them to be kind

First and foremost, you should teach your children how to be kind and empathetic if you want them to become philanthropic. The basis of philanthropy is having empathy for other people and wanting to help them. Children that feel empathy for others will naturally be more philanthropic. Teach your child to be kind to anyone they meet, because you never know what someone is dealing with and a simple smile could make someone else’s day.

Lead by example

Children mimic the actions they see adults perform and philanthropy is no exception. Take time to volunteer and openly talk to your children about the philanthropic pursuits you have and they’ll want to do it too. Be open with your children about why you volunteer and answer any questions they may have. If your children see that you’re passionate about the causes you volunteer for and enjoy it, they’ll want to experience it as well.

Take time to make donations

While it’s great to donate money if you’re able, it’s not a requirement to be philanthropic. In addition to or instead of money, consider donating old clothes or home items you no longer use. Every home has things laying around that are no longer useful. Take a weekend to clean your closets and home and then donate to your local homeless shelter or donation center. Consider picking up food items your local food bank needs. Get your child involved in donating items and encourage them to go through their possessions as well to donate what they no longer need.

Educate them about issues

When your child is old enough to understand, begin talking to them about the causes you’re involved with or common issues philanthropies focus on throughout the world. Ask your kid what seems the most interesting to them or if they already have a cause they’d like focus on in making a difference. Understanding common issues and how to help gives your children a great start on being philanthropists and truly making the world a better place.

Let them explore on their own

Once you’ve given your children a good foundation, encourage them to explore on their own. Make them feel comfortable coming to you to tell you about charities they’ve heard of or events they’d like to get involved with at school or in the community. Encourage them to find a cause they want to get involved with and focus on that.