Guest post from Kristen of Celebrate Every Day With Me
One of my kids’ favorite Bible stories is the feeding of the 5,000. It starts with a hungry crowd and ends with the thousands being blessed. Why? Because a little boy gave his food to Jesus and Jesus performed the miraculous: He multiplied the food given and fed the massive crowd.
My favorite part of this story? The fact that it was a boy. Not a man. But a boy who gave of what he had to bless and help others.
Somewhere in our culture (and please excuse the negativity), we have neglected to teach our children to serve others, to have a heart for other people and to think beyond ourselves. How many times have we commented about the self-entitled, self-pleasing, “all about me” world we live in?
So what can we do about it?
We can teach our children to be givers.
Even at a young age, children can begin to develop a heart for others. Just as the boy who shared his lunch was an instrument of blessing, so too can our children bless and help others. But we have to know this: if we want children who have hearts to give to others, we must be deliberate about teaching them.
How can we teach our children to be givers?
- Be a good example. Do your kids copy you? I’ll admit, I’m not always thrilled about everything my kids model from me. Some of my faults echo through our halls in their little voices. They see and copy everything! Do your kids see you giving to others? Are you conscious of others through your words and actions? Do you make an effort to help and bless those in need or even just bring a smile to someone’s day? Your children see every little act.
- Provide simple opportunities to learn. If you want children who are compassionate and thoughtful, provide opportunities to learn that giving to others helps and blesses the recipient. Be deliberate. Take up your neighbors’ trash can for them. Pick a bouquet of flowers and deliver the posies to the homebound. Capitalize on teachable moments and explain why giving is important.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. When you are out and about, keep a watchful eye for opportunities to help another person. You will be amazed at the chances that exist as soon as you get around people. Your children can learn to serve in their neighborhood, community, or at church. There are even things that your children can do to help others at a global level through connections to organizations like World Vision.
The concept of developing a heart to give is a process.
Are my kids perfect? Umm, no! Spend an hour with us and you’ll find that out. But are they growing in a heart for others? You bet!
As I have been deliberate about being an example, providing opportunities and practicing giving with them, I have watched my children’s hearts change in the way they think and respond to others. We are on a journey of learning how to give.
Will you join us?
Kristen Summers is a mom to two kids who keep her busy and laughing. As a former wedding and event planner, she now blogs at Celebrate Every Day With Me about fun ideas for party planning, children’s activities, and creating memorable moments. She has just released her first ebook, Teach Me To Serve: 99 Ways Preschoolers Can Learn to Serve and Bless Others. Use coupon code moneysaving30 to get 30% off the purchase of this ebook this week.