Sunday, November 26, 2006

spending and sharing

A friend recently told me about how she teaches her daughter about philanthropy. I loved the concept and want to adopt it with M when she is a bit older. Every week her daughter gets her allowance and she has three jars to put it in. One for spending, one for saving, and one for sharing.

Her daughter understands she is to divide it up equally into the three jars. The spend jar gets to be used for whatever she wants, and the save jar is used for the really special thing she wants and is learning to save for. The share jar is for her to use when she learns about things people need. She can choose where to give it to, but she knows she is to use it to help others. She's purchased a blanket for a homeless person with her share money, and helped pay for child care for another woman who was in need. I know we aren't talking about huge dollar amounts here, but it's so very much about awareness and compassion and so much less about the amount itself.

I can't tell you how much I love this. Especially since her daughter is only six.

The other day she overheard her mom talking on the phone about the money troubles in her agency (she is also in non-profit) so she walked over and handed her her share jar and asked her to use it for her job "since they need money to help more people".

What a lifetime gift she is giving her child. I can't wait to start this same tradition with M.

24 comments:

meno said...

That is very sweet. A lovely idea. It has been great to see the generosity my daughter can (usually)exhibit for those in need. She watches me do it and wants to participate.
But in the earlier years it took some coaching.

acumamakiki said...

A friend of mine does this too which I learned about when I was asking about allowance and when to start all that.

Mommy off the Record said...

I LOVE this idea. Thank you for sharing it. I can't wait to do this with my son.

Hope you and your family had a nice Thanksgiving...

Penny said...

That is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

That is a very good idea.... On all levels...


Peace,

~Chani

Crankmama said...

Too beautiful!! Kids have such big hearts! Bigger than most adults...

Moobs said...

It is a great idea. The nuns at school used to come round and indicate that we should give each week to the "starving children". We always hoped that they might be a bit more specific. The fact that your friend's daughter chooses the cause seems to me to be the really great part.

Ruth Dynamite said...

Beautiful. I love this idea.

PunditMom said...

I love this idea. We have not yet started an allowance with R., but I know it is coming soon. We've talked about others who don't have as much as we do (through UNICEF collections and some school projects), but I like this idea of helping children learn how to think about money and what it can do to help others.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great idea!

KC said...

Wow. Love it. Love it. Love it.

This is beautiful.

wordgirl said...

That mother has the right idea. It's never too learn to teach your kids to empathize with others...and then act on that emotion.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you know the song..
'Christmas Is Coming, The goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the old man's hat...

I sang this the other day and my son said if the man did not have any money he would give him all the money in his wallet and piggy bank.

So part of Christmas this year is US goig to GIVE toys and money for charity...where he can see it is needed.

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant. I'm going to start it with my son immediately. Fantastic!

s@bd said...

thank you for sharing this - i'm on the bandwagon, baby.

fully.

crazymumma said...

What a great idea. I have been trying to figure out an allowence idea for the girls and this I think might be the answer. Excellent!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic idea and thank you for sharing. What a wonderful way to teach a child those important lessons.

Momish said...

Love it! Stealing it! You are the best!

flutter said...

Oh that made my heart smile. I hope i have kids one day to share this with

lildb said...

There is a constant, unceasing hum of a hope in my chest that represents my ardent wish for J to possess the traits you describe. and I worry in the same unceasing breath that he will learn from me, his self-absorbed, tyrannical mother, to be something other than that.

thanks be that his dad is nothing like me in that respect.

mrs.incredible said...

That is such a wonderful idea on so many levels. So simple, but so few of us have the ability to think of.....It has inspired me to start this with my kids.
thanks so much for sharing this, Jen.

Anonymous said...

I am so using that idea! Thanks for the inspiration.

Deezee said...

Great way to teach the young ones (and maybe all of us). I love that you wrote about it.

ecm said...

Great idea. Simple and good.