My wife and I always encourage our children to help others. We model the behavior by serving in our church, volunteering around town or donating money to charity. We want to show our kids that giving to others involves more than simply writing a check. It involves investing time to help people in a tangible way.
Ever since I saw the movie “Brian’s Song,” I have been inspired by Gayle Sayers, one of the greatest running backs ever. Not only was he an inspiration on the football field, but he was also an inspiration in life. In his memoir, “I Am Third,” Sayers shares his credo: My God is first, my friends and family are second, I am third. I work hard to consistently apply this philosophy to my life. I also teach it to my children because I want them to be considerate and caring instead of self-centered and narcissistic. In today’s society, it is so easy to get caught up in our own busy lives that we don’t take the time to think about others.
My 11-year-old daughter has started to apply this principle to her life. Girl Scouts and the youth group at church give her several opportunities for community services, but my wife and I like to challenge her to do even more. She has played piano at a convalescent home, helped me deliver food to elderly people, and boxed canned goods at the local Food Bank. I must admit that she didn’t do these things willingly, but each experience left her more willing to participate in the next service project (read the rest of the post on my blog at Goldfish Smiles).
Question: How do you teach your children the value of serving others.
P.S. – Here is a link to my son’s singing the song, “Building Others Up,” that I refer to in the post.