In our previous blog, we mentioned “involving your children” as one of the key steps towards a more sustainable life. It is after all within this mindset that the Dulce Salerno brand was born and our journey of doing good began. It all started when our founder wanted to influence her children from an early age and install good habits within them so that doing good becomes a habit and not something that takes effort. In this post, we share with you some valuable insights from our founder on how to get your children involved in changing the world for the better.
Lead by example.
It’s no secret that children tend to learn the most when we’re not really teaching them. They observe our every move, pick up our habits and imitate our actions. So if we really want to pass on to our children valuable life lessons and fundamental values, the best way is to lead by example. If they see us being compassionate with others, being kind and responsible towards the environment, helping the less fortunate and standing up for causes, chances are they will follow the same path as well. But if they see us look the other way or wait for others to bring change, then our words won’t be enough and won’t mean much to them.
Let them see for themselves.
Children really do have a huge and creative imagination, but nothing works as good as seeing with their own eyes the realities that happen outside their loving home and comfort zones. Only then will they truly understand how privileged and lucky they are and how not everyone is born with the things we take for granted. Every now and then, schedule visits with them to see the less fortunate and give out donations. Do however prepare them ahead of time for what they are about to see. If you’re worried that they may be too sensitive and some experiences may scare them or traumatize them, reassure them that you will never leave them there and that you will be right by their side. Explain to them that you will always do your best to protect them and provide a good life for them so that they never have to go through the same, and let them know how much their visit by itself has helped those people for the better. When traveling, make it a point to visit a local charity or less fancy neighborhoods so that they can see the different levels of living in different parts of the world.
Explain the impact of their actions.
Children are more likely to learn to be responsible if they understand the impact of their actions. Telling a child not to leave the water running may work, but it’ll work even more if you explain to him why saving water is so important and what he can do not to waste water. Explain to them why it is so important to preserve the environment and how each action they make such as turning the lights off, picking up garbage from the streets, writing on both sides of paper, recycling, saving unused art supplies, avoiding plastic, planting trees, etc… contributes positively to the environment. When they give away their toys, make sure they know that because of them a less fortunate child is now smiling. Always remind them that they are powerful enough to make a difference and change the world for the better. Encourage them to volunteer so that they can be of use to humanity, and let them know that when they see something that isn’t fair such as bullying or discrimination, it is up to them to take a stand against it if they want change.
Connect them to Nature.
Playing outside will always be one of our fondest memories but unfortunately it’s not an activity that’s popular among children nowadays. There’s no better way for children to form a connection with earth and care more about the environment than by spending time outside. Don’t be afraid of dirt or a few falls, let your children run around in the fields and climb some trees. Try to limit your children’s time on TV, playstation and iPads and plan outdoor activities and trips instead whenever possible. Encourage them to ride their bikes and take up sport activities, or even gardening activities!
Give them love, not things.
It is very easy for children to get attached to things but if there’s one value our founder tries to teach her children every day is that the best gift that they can ever receive is the love they have for each other. Instead of wasting time on toys, TV and food, she focuses on quality family time, fun and learning experiences together and the little simple things. That way, they can appreciate what they have and learn early on in their life that they don’t need much to be happy.