A few years ago I was deep in the trenches of motherhood with multiple toddlers and unending chaos. And contrary to what I tried to believe might happen, the holiday season didn’t make the chaos any less chaotic. The moment you become a parent, you convince yourself you are going to teach these tiny humans to be good people, and that they will learn how to give back to others. What they don’t tell you when you’re given this tiny person to raise is that the life-shaping doesn’t always look the way you pictured. A trip to the food pantry with 3 toddlers ends up with busted cans on the floor, tears (from you, most likely) and the only lesson learned is that you will never attempt something like that again.
What I realized quickly after a few majorly failed attempts at taking my children to serve at different places was that we can cultivate a spirit of giving and service without even leaving our house! Let’s look at a few creative ways we can teach our kids about giving back that will make it less stressful on us during the holidays.
Giving of Self – One huge part of giving to others is through sacrifice. Learning about sacrifice starts in your home in very simple ways. If you have multiple kids, work with them individually on ways they can serve their siblings. One of the greatest ways for your kids to learn how to serve is by witnessing it first hand. Make a point of putting your spouse first, giving of yourself more and more so they can begin to learn what sacrifice of self is.
Giving of Time – Trying to teach children about time is tricky. Most small children have no concept of time but teaching them now to be conscious about the way they spend their time can be so beneficial in the long run. Encourage your kids to give up a little bit of screen time to learn about an organization you’d like to help out. Research it together on the internet, draw pictures or write letters to people who run that organization. Come up with some creative ideas for ways you can give up a little of your time to learn about ways to serve others. Make a list of amazing organizations that give back during the holidays and simply take a few minutes out of the day to pray for them. Show your kids that by giving up a little of their free time, they can do a huge part in serving others!
Get Creative – Find some ways that you can creatively incorporate giving into your normal routine. Put a basket in your house that you put a few items in every time you go to the grocery store (which during the holiday season ends up being a lot!). Work with your kids’ interests to find ways to give back to others. You don’t have to go far out of your way to serve and give during the holidays. Make it fun and simple and your kids will still be impacted!
Teaching your children about serving and giving back doesn’t have to be an elaborate feat. You don’t have to go crazy or even disrupt your normal schedule. We all know how challenging life with small children can be, so we encourage you to find ways to serve and give back right from home. Build giving and serving into your everyday life and you will wake up one day to find you are raising amazing kids who naturally give and serve others!
What are some ways you can create an atmosphere in your home that is more focused on giving back this holiday season?
For more ways to give, celebrate and learn about Christmas, visit one of the pages below!
For more ways to celebrate and learn about Christmas, visit one of the pages below!