“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
- John Wesley
The quote written above is one of my favorite quotes and one of the philosophies I live by. I like how the author of the quote emphasizes that the act of doing good–acts of kindness like serving others and being generous–should be done everyday of our lives as long as we live, to everyone we know and meet, whether it’s a loved one or a stranger.
The good value of being generous is one of the things I intently teach my children, and it certainly is a heartwarming feeling when you see and learn how they demonstrate this act of kindness to others.
Like for instance, a couple of weeks ago when my eldest daughter, Gwenevere, came home from school, I asked her what I always ask my kids like how their day at school went and if they finished the food I packed for them. She told me that she just ate one of the breads I prepared for her because she gave the other one to her friend. I asked why she did that and she said that her friend did not have anything to eat during their snack break so she gave some of her food.
Actually, that was not the first time that she shared her baon to one of her friends. Even my 2 other kids, Gabrielle and Gerard, would also tell me how they would sometimes share what they have because someone from their classmates needed it–not just their food, but school things, like a sheet of paper, or lending them an extra pencil or crayons.
It all starts with you.
Our children learn from what they see and as parents, it is important that we model generosity and that they see it in almost anything that we do. From demonstrating patience while waiting in a long line, speaking respectfully to other people, or giving your seat to an elderly woman or man standing up at the bus, our children are watching how we respond to every situation in our everyday living.
As a family, you can also plan for a charity outreach. My kids and I want that one of these days, we could visit an orphanage and give them things that they need and help them in any way that we can. It will not only teach them to become valuable members of the community, but will also serve a great bonding opportunity for the whole family.
Encourage them to donate.
Being charitable is one of the best ways to teach generosity to children. Encourage them to donate unwanted (but still useful) stuff like toys and clothes that they no longer use and that no longer fits them to kids at the orphanages or to victims of calamity.
Telling our children in what ways this act of generosity will benefit other people will also encourage them all the more to give. Like the time when my daughter asked me why we need to donate or give love offerings to church every Sunday, I told her that it would be a great help for the church to do their ministry work, like helping the poor and sick people in our community. It will also help pay for certain expenses when they need to improve or repair something in our church and probably help buy church chairs in case they need to buy new ones.
So now every Sunday, they wholeheartedly give what they can in the love basket that would help our church.
Whether it’s reading them a book that teaches the good value of being generous or sharing the story of some notable people in our history who selflessly gave their time to help other people (one good example is Mother Teresa), our children will certainly learn a lot by the words we share to them.
I never miss to tell my children how happy and proud I am of them whenever they tell me a good thing that they did to other people, most especially when I see them taking turns and sharing. Whenever they know that you appreciate and that they make you happy for the good things that they do, they will want to do these random acts of kindness all the more.
How else do you teach your children to be generous? I’d love hear all about it so please do share it on the comments below.