3. Point out and talk about when your kids give
We received a message from one of our son’s teachers at church. While many times such messages raise concern for parents, this one did quite the opposite. We knew that our son would take his change and give it to our church, but we didn’t know the whole story. When he entered the classroom, he would remove the change from his pockets and distribute the money among his classmates who had no money to give. That way, everyone could participate in the offering time. It was a surprising act of generosity.
Now, we are far from being perfect parents. This generous act was more a demonstration of God’s grace and mercy on us as parents than flawless parenting. But we jumped on the opportunity to point out and talk about generosity. We celebrated his generosity and how it reflected God’s generosity.
When you “catch” your child in an act of generosity, leverage that moment. When he or she holds the door open for someone, when your child shares their cookie or toy, or when your child gives to your church, leverage that moment. Celebrate it. Talk about the act. And point them to the generosity of our God.
Encouraging generosity in our kids doesn’t have to be overly complex or burdensome. Simply point every day, real life acts of generosity. Point out your generosity. Point out another’s generosity. And point out your kids’ generosity. Then, talk about it. Tell your child how those acts of generosity reflect God’s generosity. Encourage generosity in your kids by leveraging the demonstrations of generosity that God is placing right in front of you and your children.
Art Rainer is a vice president at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University and an MBA from the University of Kentucky. He writes widely about issues related to finance, wealth, and generosity, and is the author of The Money Challenge and the recently released Secret Slide Money Club series for kids.
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