Did you know that character was routinely integrated in public school curriculums across the board until the 1960s? After this time, God, prayer, and more began to be removed brick-by-brick. What was left? A group of kids that were confused, given open boundaries and discipline was a mere suggestion.
Is it a surprise that kids are typically selfish and that generosity, is only encouraged in families that care about the moral upbringing of their children?
How do we make our world better? One kid and one family at a time.
Generosity is a gift that some people have in abundance, and unfortunately, the polar opposite, selfishness is what we see the most. Some children struggle with generosity, and it all begins when they scream, “Mine!” Unfortunately, many times it is at the most inopportune situation, especially when we are out in public.
As parents, wanting to at least give the appearance that we have it all together, and because no one wants to hear a screaming child, we give in. Less traumatic meltdowns happen daily, and often we can excuse most of them away. So, what is the result? Selfish kids that scream their wants rather than ask, politely.
How do we encourage generosity in our children?
It can be encouraged seasonally.
It seems to come out when it is the season to be generous. For example, at Thanksgiving time, when we use lessons on being thankful and tie in a generous spirit. Or, perhaps at Christmas or birthdays. There are many other times when children might exhibit generosity, and we should applaud our children.
Have brainstorming sessions.
I encourage you to have brainstorming sessions with your children to write down all the words that symbolize generosity. Whether these ideas concern volunteering, sharing the last cookie, or toys with others, or various other ideas your family decides to implement. Generous actions will have a ripple effect on the lives of those around you within your family and then beyond.
Model the behavior.
If your children exhibit selfishness or a self-centered viewpoint, the “What’s in it for me” attitude, they are quite possibly modeling what they see in society as a whole. A self-centered focus is evident in a me-focused generation with selfies now the norm and pages on social media, ‘all about me.” Yet, you can still raise a child who is generous, and truthfully that is the key. When filled with selfless love and thanksgiving for what we have, we cannot help to share this goodness with others.
Overnight success rarely happens, and the best way to encourage a behavior is to model this as well as creating opportunities to exhibit generosity such as a visit to grandparents, a neighbor, cooking a meal for someone at church, or offering to babysit someone’s unruly toddler. These are just a few examples of how to practice generosity.
You can practice with role-playing, and my latest planner on the topic of Generosity has many suggestions, such as making goals or plans. Once again, self-control is one of the keys to future success as an adult.
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Recently I read a quote from a past president that shocked me. In the words of John Adams: “Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any others.” We need to bring morality and all that is good into our homes. I challenge you to be aware of ways you can do this easily.
I know moms have so much to do, but I hope you can find daily ways to encourage your children and allow them to experience the joy with the realization that it is better to give than to receive.