CICF News / 2012 / November / News Post
November 20, 2012
Generosity Next

Kindness, compassion and charity are central to philanthropic giving. They are also values that many parents seek to instill in their children. But when 88 percent of teens report that they have witnessed cruelty or meanness online and emerging brain research suggests that immature brains are built for selfishness, raising generous children can be a challenge.

The following reading recommendations from Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, a CICF fund, and CICF’s Philanthropic Services staff help parents spark a giving spirit in their children.

For Young Children

The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper features a personal story that makes this time-honored rule relevant to young children.

The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper
This picture book focuses on a conversation about “the golden rule” between a young boy and his grandfather. They discuss what the rule means, to whom it applies and how to use this guiding principle in daily life. The author also includes an overview of the diverse religions and cultures that embrace this simple but powerful rule.

Three Cups by Tony Townsley
Presenting a simple story of one boy’s experience with giving, this book will help children as young as four years old develop an awareness of sharing with others. In addition to the warm illustrations and easy-to-understand story, Three Cups also outlines an approach that any parent can use to make generosity a key part of family culture.

The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving by Ellen Sabin

With a mix of engaging narrative, activities and bright illustrations, The Giving Book walks children and parents through the process of identifying passions, planning charitable action and implementing ideas. This spiral-bound resource is ideal for children six to eleven years old.

For Older Children

The 1 Book offers powerful quotes and a bold, graphic design for older youth.

The 1 Book: How Many People Does It Take to Make a Difference? by Dan Zadra and Kobi Yamada

This short book guides readers through the process of establishing a personal mission and making plans to apply that mission in the real world. With bold graphic design, guided reflections and empowering ideas, ONE provides individuals – from adolescents to seniors – with an opportunity to craft a plan of positive impact.

For Parents

Raising Charitable Children by Carol E. Weisman
Weisman combines stories from real-life parents, teachers, aunts, uncles and many more with simple strategies for helping young people develop a giving spirit. With an inclusive and open voice, Raising Charitable Children challenges the reader to consider new approaches while also supporting diverse philanthropic goals. This book also has a useful resources section for further reading.

Prodigal Sons and Material Girls: How Not to Be Your Child’s ATM by Nathan Dungan
This book outlines both the challenge faced by parents (created in part by a powerful combination of media, materialism and unrealistic ideas about finances among youth) and how to meet that challenge. Dungan’s solution is to encourage realistic saving, spending and sharing to help teens become financially responsible and philanthropic.