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How to get your kids on the path to doing good

Robert Hampson, 19, is the founder of the Robert Hampson Tabs for Kids Fund.

Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

1. Set an example. Show kids rather than tell them. The best learning comes from seeing what we do as adults, whether it's organizing a bake sale or running a marathon to raise money to fight disease.

2. Give your kids hands-on experiences that are meaningful to them at different ages. Some giving is pretty abstract. A young child might not get the significance of contributing toward aid for tsunami victims, but they will get the idea of buying a chicken for a village in Africa.

3. Put money into a street musician's hat.

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4. Say hello to a panhandler. Acknowledge he or she as a person, even if you don't give them money.

5. Model how to share time with others, even when it's not convenient. If there is snow in your elderly neighbour's driveway, go shovel it before heading off to work.

6. Be charitable more than once a year. Some families put aside an allotted amount every week or month for a social cause.

7. Host a charitable event in your home.

8. Watch the news or read the newspaper with your kids. Help them to understand that their lives have a bigger network around them.

9. When your child is treated unfairly, involve him or her in finding a solution. If we stand up for ourselves, we're more likely to know how to stand up for others.

Source: Michael Ungar's We Generation: Raising Socially Responsible Kids.

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