Lead by Example
What I've learned is children are not innately kind and generous. Ever had a two year old tell you "mine!" or not willing to share toys? Ask me how many times I broke up my kiddos arguing over who would share what toy & who hit whom. Ever tried to ask a child/teenager to help do anything that they didn't really want to do? (cut the grass, unload the dishwasher, fold clothes, pick up toys...does anyone out there feel me?) Like I said, children are not innately kind and giving. The good news is kindness and generosity can be taught. The real kicker is, for it to really be absorbed into their little craniums, it has to be modeled...a lot. And I do mean a lot.
There are tons of way to model the kind of behavior you want to see in your kids. It requires diligence, but it is worth it in the end. I also challenge all adults to extend these things to others. Go that extra mile to help someone. (Include your kids if you can.)
Lend a hand when you can!
Things you can do to help others:
- cut grass & rake leaves for an elderly or sick neighbor
- help a short person reach something on the top shelf at the grocery store (this is a real struggle for many of us)
- grab a shopping cart or two that has been left in the parking lot
- keep $1 bills in your wallet during Christmas to put in the Salvation Army's red kettle
- donate to a food pantry
- keep a homeless kit in your car to give to those who are homeless on the side of the road. It can include: toothbrush, toothpaste, a gift card to eat at a local restaurant, wipes, advil, a brush, a razor, etc.
- cook dinner or bake goodies for a teacher