The only things certain in life are death and taxes.
Oh … and the fact that children are born selfish.
Straight from the womb, kids have no boundaries. They don’t care if their mom and dad are hungry, overworked, or haven’t slept in days. They’ll scream for food when they’re hungry and for a new diaper when the old one has, let’s say, fulfilled its purpose.
Fortunately, there’s nothing in that behavior for parents to worry about because that’s the means God has given infants to have their needs met and to survive. But imagine how those same kids will interact with the world years down the road if parents don’t raise them out of that behavior and teach them to care for themselves and others.
One of the most effective ways to instill selflessness into your children is by modeling selfless behavior yourself. I think we all try to do that, but are your kids really seeing what you think they are?
Like when you tithe to your church, do your kids see you giving? If so, do they understand what offering money to your church even means? And who is helped? And how?
How about when you volunteer or help out a neighbor or a friend? Are your children ever with you? Are they witnessing what it means to give sacrificially to others?
It’s easy to get into a routine of doing good things but forgetting to bring your children along for the journey. Raising selfless kids isn’t just about teaching them to talk respectfully and have manners. What are you doing to involve your kids in activities that will expose them to the values you’re hoping they’ll learn?
Your children will be more likely to think of others if you’ll figure out what makes your children tick. They need to learn to serve even when it it’s not easy or convenient, but getting them started on the right track is easier if they’re focused on something they’re passionate about.
Our guest on today’s program, Sami Cone, tried to get her young daughter interested in helping hungry children around the world. Nothing really stuck … until one night at bedtime when Sami mentioned that some kids don’t have pajamas. Her sleepy daughter perked up and was suddenly interested to hear about the needs of other children.
We’ll talk about that story with Sami and discuss more ways parents can teach their children to be selfless and to think of others on today’s radio program, “Raising Selfless Kids.” I think you’ll hear right away that Sami is engaging and has a lot of practical ideas. She’s a blogger, a college speech professor, and a wife and mother of two.