Friday, December 11, 2009

Teaching Children About Service

At this time of year our thoughts often turn to ways we can serve others. We donate to food closets and other charitable causes, hoping to bring joy to someone who would otherwise do without this holiday season. When thinking of ways to serve this holiday season, why not get your children in on the fun, and teach them a valuable lesson on helping others.

Here are some ways that you can get your children involved in service this holiday season:

  1. Hit the kitchen. Many people who are lonely enjoy a visit and goodies. Do you know any widows in your neighborhood that would enjoy a plate of goodies delivered by little smiling faces? Bake your family favorite holiday treats (letting your children help stir, pour, decorate etc), wrap them up on a pretty paper plate and go off together to deliver your goodies.

  2. Does your neighborhood regularly give neighbor gifts? A few years ago some families in our neighborhood decided that in lieu of the traditional neighbor gifts, they were going to take that money and purchase basic hygiene items to be donated to the local food pantry (items that the food pantry specifically indicated were in high demand and were no often donated like toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, etc). Their children delivered a sweet note telling us about their plan and inviting the rest of the neighborhood to join them. They collected the items and delivered them for the neighborhood. This could be a great project, easy for children to assist. Call your local food bank and ask what items they need most this holiday season, type up a friendly letter and let your children help distribute them to your neighbors. After you collect everything, you can bring your children a long when you drop them off.

  3. Encourage them to serve in the family. It is a sad fact that we usually treat our friends and strangers better than our family. Teach your children that it is important to serve one another in a family. Encourage them to do simple things for each other such as: make a siblings bed for them, do one of their chores, help them with their homework, babysit for parents so they can do holiday shopping (if they are old enough), read a story to a younger sibling. There are many ways to serve in the family if we just look,

Teaching our children the importance of serving when they are young helps start a habit that will last throughout their lives. If you have found a unique way to teach your children about service, please share in the comments below.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful and safe Holiday Season.

- Christine

Posted by Christine of Random Thoughts With Chris

Featured weekly on Pink Lemonade Online Magazine

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