There are many ways of being of service to those in need. To learn the joy of giving and to get to give without expecting anything in return, we can begin teaching our children to serve / give to those in the family first. Recently I asked students about what their family gave to them, how did their family help them. It was not easy for them to answer the question. Then I asked what do you give to your family, how do you serve them? A few comments about feeding the cat, taking out the trash, even helping with dishes. Better!
Our job as a parent is to mentor and coach our children. Parents providing “extra’s” for children comes from the heart and but must be careful not to create children who feel entitled to things, praise and protection from mistakes. Coaching our kids to give to the family is a way of teaching responsibility, and they are learning to be charitable to others.
The joys of giving to others begin with gratitude for what others are doing for us. When children appreciate all the extra’s parents do for them, then they can start to learn the joy of doing for others. That is why as a parent we must be careful about over-indulging our children with material things, over-praising them, even over-protecting them from failures and natural consequences.