Raising kids as a single parent is hard, but raising kids as a single parent that follows Christ, lives by his standards, thinks of others, volunteers, and gives back to the community is even harder.
Our kids are constantly bombarded with negative and sometimes evil messages. A question that I often ask myself and God is: How can we keep their attention and pursuits on God?
Here is what I believe we can do to help keep children’s beliefs, faith, and pursuits on God:
1. Lead by Example.
We can teach our kids as many things as we want, but the fact of the matter is kids learn by watching. If we try to teach our kids to think about others when we are in fact only thinking of ourselves, kids will see this as a miscommunication and do exactly what you are doing. Set good examples, and take the time to develop your own relationship with God and make sure your focuses are that of which you want your kids to focus on as well.
2. If you Want your Kids to Get Involved, Do it With Them.
It’s no secret that Kids love spending time with their families and friends. So, why not do some fun service activities together and teach them the important life lessons of giving back while you’re at it!
This past weekend I took the kids to our local Park that has a beautiful little Pond filled with ducks and fish. We decided we would feed the ducks and then go play at the playground afterwards. While we were feeding the ducks, I looked around and noticed a few plastic bags floating in the water. Without hesitation, or thinking I was fully clothed, I jumped into the pond and started going after the bags.
The kids looked around and started pointing out all the garbage they saw around the park; which made me sick to think that people were that careless and self-centered to not even notice that our onetime picturesque park was filthy.
I asked the kids if they would like to forgo their playground time to help me with a “Game”. They of course said yes! Haha…. I explained that the game was to go around the entire pond, pick up as much garbage as they could, and see who could make it back to the garbage cans with the most garbage.The kids were a little hesitant that this was a “real game”, but quickly let that go once I said it was ok that they get a little wet and dirty. Every time the kids found another piece of garbage they would get all excited and yell out “I’m gonna Win”.. But of course, in the “game” of service everyone is a winner.
It turned out to be a great family activity that not only bonded us, but helped teach the kids the important lessons of service, and keeping our community clean!
3. Use every Opportunity you can to Teach a Lesson about God.
While cleaning the park, and on the way home, I took the opportunity to talk about how God feels when we think of others and give back to our communities.
I told the kids my two favorite quotes by Mother Theresa, that I feel embody the truth of what God sees when we give back and think of others:
“Once we take our eyes away from ourselves, from our interests, from our own rights, privileges, ambitions then they will become clear to see Jesus around us.”
“There are many people who can do big things, but there are very few people who will do the small things.”
I not only taught the kids about how important it is to help others and give back, but also took the time to give them a little motivation. I explained there are many things in the world that aren’t right or good, and if we want to make a difference, then we need to stand up and be the change we want to see in the world (Gandhi).
I can’t say that the kids completely understood everything I was talking about or learned the lessons in just one day. Teaching kids about God, Acts of Service, and Volunteering is a never-ending process. These lessons need to be taught and shown through parents’ actions on a daily basis.
Give your life to Christ and live to be like Jesus. You never know who knows God and his message. You may be the only Jesus people see.
How do You teach Your Kids the Importance of Volunteering and Giving Back? Leave your Comments Below.