Thursday, December 10, 2015
Thoughtful About . . . Inspiring Generosity
How do you inspire generosity in your kids?
This is a question I'm asking myself a lot lately. Because while one of my children would give up absolutely anything to help someone else, the other is hard pressed to ever think about giving. Or want to give, even when it's not remotely sacrificial.
So this is my question to you, who may have already dealt with this. How do I inspire my children to generosity?
I certainly can't force them. Pretty sure if I make my children act selflessly, it would backfire. I'm trying to take opportunities in daily life to talk about the importance of giving (a popular topic this time of year). Of service. Of thinking of others.
It's not sinking in, thus far.
I thought we'd try something in the spirit of Christmas and asked the kids to pick out gifts for their friends and cousins. This sort of worked, until this particular child told me what fun it was...because they knew they'd get to play with them at the friends' and cousins' house. (Le sigh) (And yes, writer-me was deliberately using "they" to refer to a singular person, because I want to avoid gender here in referencing my kiddo, LOL.)
I'm stumped. And giving it a lot of prayer. Because while I'm fine with kids being kids and would love to be assured that this is a phase children grow out of, I'm not willing to be one of those parents that waves off behavioral or moral issues using that excuse. But I'm also not remotely a tiger-mom type that will be an iron fist enforcing exactly what I deem necessary. Trying to strike a balance here, and I could definitely use some thoughts from you guys.
Have you ever noticed a decidedly selfish bent to one of your kids? How did you address it? Did it worry you?
I'm not gnawing at my nails in anxiety here or anything, but I do believe it's my responsibility as a parent to foster virtues in my kids. Some come to them naturally, a part of their personality. Others are more difficult. Have you noticed that?
So what do we, as parents seeking to raise God-honoring children who love Him from the depths of their hearts, not just by rote, do to foster those good traits that they're lacking?
I'd love to hear what you've found that works, either with generosity or other lessons in virtue that a child may have struggled with!