After taking the time to expose our children to different opportunities in serving others, it is also important to give them time to experience this on their own. Especially as a child gets older it is important to look for these experiences for them to practice on their own and to reap the rewards of doing something for someone else. It is a different experience from “having” to do something because the rest of your family is involved.
One place to look for opportunities for your child is their school. When they are telling you about their day they may mention a perfect opportunity for serving someone. There may be something that a child can do to help a teacher. Even doing something so small as not getting involved when a group of people are picking on a student or making the big step to tell them to stop. Or simply making a point to be nice to the student, even though it may be unpopular, is putting their needs above you own.
As a child gets older another awesome way to give them a wonderful experience in serving others on their own is mission trips. Most churches give opportunities for youth to do a mission trip at least once a year. These life-changing experiences are such awesome lessons not only in serving others, but also teach gratitude for how much we have been given.
Take the time to help your child find places to serve on their own. It will help to develop this important life long habit.