No better time than now to teach your children about generosity and gratitude


Paula Luckhoff

729 days ago
No better time than now to teach your children about generosity and gratitude Police altercation with woman in Strand. Image: Screengrab of Twitter video @MurrayRSA

"The power of G²: Generosity is about giving and gratitude is about receiving."

That's how parenting expert Nikki Bush sums up the importance of generosity and giving, especially during this time of Covid-19.

And it's important to pass this on to our children, she says to Refiloe Mpakanyane on Weekend Breakfast.

We live in such an unequal society... People don't have access to the same stuff and **right now**, if you do have access, this is an amazing time to teach your children about generosity and giving.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

For something to be real for kids, she says, they need to experience or see it - it's not good enough to just hear about it.

For example, when we go shopping at the moment for our weekly groceries, you can buy an extra tin of pilchards or a bag of mealie meal, or oil or sugar [for feeding schemes]. There's such a desperate need right now to feed our country... with schools having shut down so many children aren't getting their single meal in a day.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Bush expands on the example of the organisation Preschools for Africa which she says has pivoted to provide 90,000 people with food in the last month.

They were telling me yesterday they are now having to feed school principals and teachers who are on the breadline because they don't have any income anymore.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

How do we make our children aware of these circumstances without using the language of guilt-tripping, asks Refiloe.

Bush says it can start very simply - she remembers candle-lit family dinners incorporating a ritual of creating a wish or prayer for the people you think of as you blow the candles out at the end of the meal.

So, what do we wish for somebody? Who's in need right now who needs a wish or a prayer?... Who has less than us? Think about the orphans and the vulnerable children right now...

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

We can't right now go and play with them as volunteers like in SOS Children's Villages... so what else **can** we do?

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

She mentions examples of specific ways of giving materially, which are easy to do if you buy certain products at supermarkets.

'Look what we can do with a little bit of money, it doesn't have to be a lot of money.' What about using their own pocket money? It's good to help children to choose to just keep a few rand back...

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Bush is also ready with some more of her Boredom Busters, using ingredients and tools you probably already have at home.

Threading Fruit Loops on pieces of spaghetti for instance, is good for fine motor coordination and also colour sequencing.

Pairing socks that you've muddled up after washing can also turn into a fun and educational game.

All the activities are available at

Get all the details in the audio below: (skip to 10:06 for the activities)

This article first appeared on 702 : No better time than now to teach your children about generosity and gratitude

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