In the ever-growing tension of everyday life, sometimes we forget what is truly important and the driving force into kindness and doing good.  We want to set positive examples for our children  and raise them to be kind, loving adults. The holidays are quickly approaching and this is a great time to teach your children about charity, but are your little ones struggling with the season of “give me!” instead of the season of giving?

Let’s look at 3 ways to Pay it Forward this holiday season:

1) Spend an afternoon serving others in the community: This is a great opportunity to spend time together as a family while teaching your child(ren) that helping others can be fun. Rake leaves, shovel snow, or offer to help elderly neighbors with chores around their house. Check with church groups or local parent groups for information on their community efforts and how you can join them. Even volunteering at an animal shelter can turn into a great lesson for the kids. (But please don’t hold me responsible for the mess in your house, courtesy of the new furry friend you may or may not bring home from this adventure!)

2) Send cards or care packages to members of our military: Visit, or do an online search for other organizations, to find out what items are needed and how you can help. Cards, monetary donations, and much needed items can all be sent to benefit our military members while they are away from home during the holidays.

3) Random acts of kindness: We’ve all seen it on social media! Meals being paid for by strangers, encouraging notes left for a struggling friend, or sending cards to a local senior center. Sit together as a family and decide how you can brighten someone’s day! This doesn’t have to be expensive or too involved – small gestures can turn into the biggest memories!

Make it a great season!

Sharnea Roush (Bravo Employee)