Gratitude and Generosity are Key
With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s a great time to teach children the importance of gratitude and being thankful. Children of all ages can be encouraged to develop a servant heart and a spirit of generosity through learning to serve others.
Schools Develop a Spirit of Service
Developing a servant heart is something that can be started early in small ways and then developed into bigger projects as the child grows. Schools are perfect environments for this and in addition to teaching children to be helpful and correct injustice, schools can also initiate projects throughout the year. Not only does this inspire generosity, but it also brings attention to the injustice and inequality in the world. Everything from UNICEF collections at Halloween to collecting food and coats for homeless shelters can be a call to action for children.
Parents Develop a Spirit of Service
Parents too can encourage this mindset. Determining the child’s interests and concerns and then finding ways to serve in those areas is the best way to get cooperation. One family I know went to a local shelter to serve Thanksgiving lunch every year. Another child began volunteering at a local animal shelter and even writing a column for a neighborhood magazine because of his love of animals. Developing service projects as a family is a great way to not only serve but strengthen family ties at the same time. Even young children can learn to give food, toys or clothing to those in need.
The best and most life changing service, is service that involves giving of more than our excess. It involves giving our time and energy. Spending a Saturday morning in a soup kitchen for the homeless, or volunteering in a nursing home to visit with residents who have no family are great ways that families can impact their community and ultimately the world. Service that moves us out of our comfort zone and challenges us to make a difference develops children and ultimately adults, of compassion and character.
How can your family or school teach children to be generous and develop a servant heart? I’d love to hear in the comment section!
It’s almost Christmas and Wyatt the Wonder Dog is wondering how long he will have to wait until the big day and what gifts he will get. His mother, however, has a more important question, “What will you give for Christmas?” Join Wyatt as he learns a valuable lesson about how anyone can be generous and giving at Christmas and all through the year.
With Wyatt the Wonder Dog as their guide, children learn the value of generosity and what it means to give from the heart. Lynne Watts deftly weaves this powerful lesson in a delightfully entertaining story sure to appeal to both children and parents.
~ Martha Jane Orlando, author of Children in the Garden