Teaching our Kids Solidarity
December 18, 2014  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

Christmas is right around the corner and it is perhaps the most awaited moment of the year for children. They live the holiday seasons with joy by helping decorate the Christmas tree, cooking, writing their letters to Santa and dreaming of opening their presents so they can continue to play. But the true Christmas spirit however, implies being generous with others and learning to be happy when giving. Here, at The Toy Blog, we´ve explored the subject of empathy, pointing to scientific research like this one, led by the University of Michigan, which proves that the positive effects of being generous includes well being (physically and mentally), longevity, as well as helping reduce stress and boost self-esteem.  Today, we´d like to teach you how to raise solidary kids. Not only to show them that other realities do indeed exist, but also so they learn to enjoy giving and helping others.

The definition of solidarity is the capacity of expressing support of a group or the people in it. In other words, helping and thinking of others. And to be solidary, a good dose of acceptance, generosity, empathy and tolerance is needed.

It all begins at home

We know children are like sponges, they absorb and imitate what they see. How they perceive you interacting with others will help them understand and integrate empathy and generosity in their daily life. Watching how you offer your seat on the bus to an elder or helping a neighbour with their grocery bags are simple acts that teach empathy. Take advantage of these small opportunities to be a great example for your kids and get them to think of others.

Try getting your children to set a solidary goal, at least once a week. They can take on a chore at home like taking the garbage out or watering the plants or helping their younger siblings with their homework or getting dressed.

To teach solidarity, you have to set an example

This Christmas season, teach your children to think of others. There are many activities they can do to help people who are in need. From volunteering at a community kitchen to donating toys or clothes.

At social kitchens, the little ones can help serve dishes, set tables and even help decorate.

Another way of helping is thru solidary races. Besides being fun, children will enjoy the exercise and the outdoors. This one is specially created for them. Marathons are a great family day out to get into the Christmas spirit.


If you´d rather have them donate toys, together you can plan a morning or afternoon looking in the toy chest and selecting those they don´t play with anymore. Help them in their selection but ultimately let them choose. If you make it fun, of course, they´ll enjoy it as well. A good idea is to have them remember when and who gave them that specific toy and encourage them to imagine what the child who receives it will say. When your children understand that not all kids have toys to play with, they´ll also begin to appreciate what they have.

Remember to let them decide what to give and to whom. And make sure they join you when you donate the toys. The more they participate, the better. 

To discover how you can join other causes, please read these suggestions.

If they still haven’t written their letters to Santa, why not ask them to include a toy for a child who needs it? Talk to your children about the differences between needing and wanting and make sure they understand they too, can be active members of society and as such they have rights and obligations.

Remember that the best part of teaching your children how to have a big heart is knowing that a generous child has many more chances at becoming a happy adult.

This Christmas season, make fun family plans and have your children be part of the decisions you make. What solidary activity will you propose this Christmas? Share your experience with our readers. We´d love to hear from you.

Photo Credits: Jophielsmiles

Photo Credits: Peter Mooney

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