Being Other’s Focused
This is such an important topic we have written another series on teaching your child to serve. Click here to view the week long series on this.
And as always listen to today’s podcast for more on finding the balance of family and individuality.
What We Can Do
There are many things that we can do as a family to help our children look outward to the needs of others. Today’s child will fight a battle of not even knowing how to interact appropriately with others, if we allow devices and social media free reign in their lives. One of the first things that we can do to help them see what’s truly going on around them at hands reach, is helping them place boundaries on devices. Having set aside unplugged family time is a great way to do this. Taking turns discussing what is going on in each other’s lives at this dinner table is a simple way to start. A child listening to how a parent’s or sibling’s day went is a very simple and easy way to look past their own self.
The next step is taking time to train your child to “see a need, fill a need”, a great quote from the kids movie Robots. This can start in your own home but it will take some time and encouragement. Little things like taking their own plate to the sink after meals and not leaving it for someone else to clear is such a simple way to start. Next you can take it a step further by creating a random acts of kindness game. Go crazy if you catch your child doing something nice for another family member, like not only clearing their plate but taking mom’s as well. In the Girls home, I had a white board on my office door where I would write a quick sentence for all to see if I could catch one girl being kind to another. This attitude of service is caught and taught. What are ways you can positively reinforce this attitude in your home?
Listen to today’s podcast for more.
Why Is This Important?
We touched on this yesterday, why it is imperative to teach our children to function in a unit. If our goals for parenting are to raise a child to become a Godly adult who is both marriageable and employable, then teaching a child how to “lay down self” is an extremely important lesson. We have all been around people who are just 30 year old adolescents. They give in to their every whim or desire regardless of the needs of those around them. This is not a desirable characteristic for an employee or a spouse.
We mentioned yesterday how Philippians tells us to value others before yourself. Romans explains why we do this. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” We lay down our will and desires not only because it is in our best interest to function in a unit, but because it is an act of worship to God.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.
Getting Past the “Selfie”
Today’s cultural focus is the individual. If we are not careful we can allow this to impact our parenting. We are told to value “me time” or that we “deserve” certain things, even if it is to the detriment of others. This seems to be blatantly obvious anytime we are out on the road, it’s hard to find a lot of selfless drivers. Now while it is important to celebrate each special quality that makes our children unique, the gifts and talents that God gave them, we have to find balance and help them learn to thrive in a unit. In today’s “selfie” culture we are raising a generation that if we are not conscious, will not be marriageable and employable.
I think we could all agree that we want our children to be selfless not selfish. In fact this is imperative if we are Christ followers. Christ taught us in order to lead we must serve. Philippians 2:3 tells us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interest but each of you to the interest of the others.”
Check back the rest of this week as we explore more on this topic and as always listen to today’s podcast.