How to teach a child to be generous

 Cultivating generosity in kids.

My son brings my donuts / cupcakes / brownies to  share with his performing arts team. The featured image of this blog is cranberry-cinnamon muffins with a bakery-style domed top.

My other son brings a LARGE bottle of cashew nuts to share with his platoon mates. This bottle is regularly topped up with freshly roasted cashew nuts almost every month. Army boys are always hungry.

When children participate in generous acts, the seed of kindness gets implanted in them. Our job as parents is to nurture and irrigate that seed into a sapling and allow it to grow into a well developed tree of generosity where the young adult initiates kind acts of his own.  Being generous is to give without any expectation of receiving anything in return. The joy of showering others is reward enough in itself.

It is a very intentional cultivation and curation. Such character qualities are developed after consistent and repeated actions, which develop into a habit. It is a continued work in progress.

My son shared a sip of his drink with a classmate. I affirmed him for his action. I further challenged him that in future should someone asks for a sip to then see it as an opportunity to give his entire drink away.

Children learn best through imitation and experiential learning opportunities. Children are watching their parents and do imitate the speech patterns and behaviour of significant adults around them. I love baking to give away to friends, colleagues, any one within and without of my sphere of influence. My home is often filled with the aroma of freshly baked desserts. The presence of joy is palpable and lingers. This is the curated  garden in which my saplings grow. Besides eating the desserts, they are often engaged in the ingredient shopping, baking process or delivery. My mum was an avid home baker and I  grew up in such an environment too.

Train a child in the way he should go, so that when he is older he will not depart from those ways. Prov 22:6

So it is our scope of work as parents to train our children – not merely to feed, clothe and house them. But to make sure they develop qualities of goodness, right ways of living, kindness, brotherly love.

We are then working out from a kingdom  abundance mentality rather than from a scarcity framework. There is more than enough for everyone, although the distribution system is grossly inefficient. That’s exhibiting a little of the kingdom culture and bringing it to come down to earth. Living as a child of the King.

WhatsApp Image 2017-06-09 at 14.43.00

Sharing cupcakes & a song with foreign workers at a nursing home.

 

 

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