I was raised with this verse said to us over and over as I was taught how to be generous with what we had. My husband and I are committed to raising our children with the same values of generosity, gratefulness and compassion that we were taught growing up.
This is very difficult when everywhere I turn my kids are innudated with commercials and product placements. I don’t even enjoy taking them to the grocery store because everyone and their dog has stuck Dora or Disney princesses on their food. I watched a very disturbing 20/20 (or Dateline or one of those shows) where children were given a choice between a cupcake with an American flag or a banana with Shreck stickers on it and like 90% of the kids picked the banana. Although this does lend itself to some creative strategies to get my kids to eat better, it is a bit frightening.
I admit, I am a sucker for that sweet voice asking me for the lastest Disney princess toy. It is hard to resist buying things for your kids when you can afford too despite the fact our house is overflowing with toys. However, I am thrilled to say that we have had some minor success around here in the parenting department.
Our church was collecting money from all the Sunday School classrooms to support an amazing orphanage in Africa. My 3 year old got really excited about the prospect of helping another little girl who didn’t have toys get some toys (pretty sure the money wasn’t going for toys, but I didn’t want to crush her spirit). For a week she would go around the house looking for “chores” to do so she could get some money to bring to church. I loved watching the sparkle in her eye as she handed off her money at church.
I write this not to toot my own horn. There are plenty of moments where she is throwing a fit because she can’t have something she wants. I just think we sometimes underestimate our kids and they are so moldable at this age. I believe it is much easier to teach giving when you are young than to learn it as an adult when all sorts of things are vying for your money. We believe in the biblical concept of tithing and it is a lot easier to tithe off a $1 allowance than a six figure salary (not that we have one, but I imagine it is hard).
I would love any tips you have about teaching your kids about giving. Leave me a comment.