Family Influence

posted by Talk About Giving blog team

June 25, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

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We’re all familiar with the research. The number one influence in a child’s development is home and family. In some ways this is enlightening and in other ways it’s kind of frightening. What we do really does impact our children’s behaviors and habits. From the earliest days, babies follow their parents’ moves, mimic their expressions and respond to their actions. And this influence grows as the child develops cognitively.

Examples of parental influence – The good and the bad:

  • Education: Among 1992 high school graduates whose parents did not go to college, 59 percent enrolled in some form of post-secondary education. But the enrollment rate increased to 93 percent among those whose parents had at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • High-risk behavior: Frequently eating family meals together prevents many high-risk behaviors.
  • Automobile safety: Teens whose parents have three or more crashes on their records are 22 percent more likely to crash at least once, compared to teenagers whose parents have had no crashes.
  • Philanthropy: Parental involvement in nonprofits increases the odds of a child becoming a donor by more than 80 percent; with parents who don’t, there’s only a 25-percent chance the child will grow up to be a donor.

The biggest deterrent for generosity? Not seeing a family member help others. So if your children are not aware of your efforts to help others, it’s less likely that they will develop philanthropic value systems. The Clay family is a great example of parents that are living examples for their children, but that have also reinforced generous habits by providng opportunities to help others as they’ve grown up. Anyone can do this!

Statistics: Family Influence on Giving

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