Wednesday, October 18, 2017

{ If You Let Them Serve...}

If you let them serve, they will grow up serving. Service is, according to the 1828 Webster's Dictionary, Working for; acting in subordination to; yielding obedience to; worshiping; also, performing duties; as serving in the army.

 It is interesting to me that the word serving here is working, yielding, performing. Some of this if taken the wrong way would lead one to think that our kids are servants/slaves, which could not be further from the truth! Serving is giving of your time and life freely and without any thought of return. It is a good thing to teach your children.

 My only caution is that they should be witnessing your example of serving to them and others before you expect them to serve with a grateful heart. They only learn the best ways when they are shown the best ways.

 How can they serve?

 In the home, as this would be the first place of service for a little one, they can be expected to do chores at least by age two. Everyone should be pitching in together to keep the house clean and neat. It should not fall on one person's shoulders, especially you mother. It should be relevant to what level they are as to what they contribute to the household. As they get older, they can eventually be expected to run a household if need be. That will prepare them for their own households, whether male or female. There are no gender specific chores, really, because we all should know how to cook and do basic cleaning to keep a home environment healthy.

They can also just learn specific tasks of serving while watching you as you go about your day! More is caught than taught is how the old saying goes! For example, one of my older girls when she was little loved to give her daddy a glass of tea when he came home from work. Where did she learn that? From watching me. One of my little boys loved to run and get stuff that I asked for because he watched his daddy and siblings do it while I was on bed rest with a pregnancy. He still loves to serve and does so at his church.

They can serve in church, home school group or other group type setting by being taught to see needs before there is a request. For example, we have taught our children if they see a person beginning to clean up the place after the event has wound down, then they need to step in and help. If they see it modeled at home, they will do it while out! After dinner we all get up and put our plates and cups beside the sink and begin to clear the table. When the littlest ones are beginning we give lots of praise and claps for their effort. They learn as it becomes a habit.

Also, sometimes it takes one time of doing something out of the ordinary as an act of service for it to become something a certain child likes to do. One time after our dinner, daddy brought around a tray of cookies for everyone to choose one to have. After that, our five year old and eight year old have enjoyed doing that every Friday night during family movie time and we don't have to ask them.

So remember to let them see you serving others, within the home and when out of it.  And also let them serve beyond their chores.

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