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Getting Past Gimme-Gimme: How to Raise Charitable Children How many times have we heard ourselves, our friends, or our kids' grandparents complain that children have too many things and don't appreciate any of it? We all enjoy doing things for children - buying them something special, taking them on a fun outing, throwing a great birthday party. But at the same time, many of us fear that without some balance, most children will grow up thinking only of themselves. This observation is what led Carol Weisman, MSW, CSP, MOM, to write "Raising Charitable Children." In this book, Weisman shares real-life stories collected from allover the world of how parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, scout leaders, friends, next door neighbors, and her own family have either initiated or supported ways to teach children how to give back to those in need. But she doesn't stop there. After each of the stories, Weisman offers specific steps to help anyone translate these ideas into action. In this way, she turns what might have been just a lot of wonderful stories into a set of practical maps or models anyone can use to start making a difference now. In her own family, Weisman and her husband started a family tradition whereby they and their sons (starting when they were just four and six) made a small donation to a program or charity of choice on their birthday. This was not in lieu of a party or gifts but in addition to them. In another section, Weisman talks about a grandmother of three who, when asked what she wanted for her birthday, told her grandchildren to "Do something for someone else, draw a picture of what you did, and then tell me the story. " Scout troops, religious groups, and others will like Weisman's suggestions for volunteering--whether as a one-time event or an ongoing project. Volunteer vacations are becoming increasingly popular for families and a myriad of options are listed in the book's Resource section. These are just a sampling what Weisman covers in this book. Packed with ideas and activities that are easy and enjoyable, "Raising Charitable Children" provides lots of tips for sharing the gifts of generosity, selflessness and compassion with the children of all ages and from all backgrounds. Adults, who might have little time or money or have a lot of both, and who want to make a difference in a child's life, will welcome this advice. "Raising Charitable Children" will help instill cherished values, and will possibly create a new family tradition or two. And what Weisman hears over and over when people share with her how they have tried to make a difference is, "I'm the one who has benefited from this the most."
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