Raise Kids Who Give Using the Simple Once-a-Month Strategy (October)
(Inside: Raise kids who give. We want to live in a community that notices needs a takes care of each other. Work as a family on this giving strategy.)
My husband and I are trying to raise kids who give. We came up with a once-a-month strategy where we pay attention to needs that come across our corner of the world and try to help monthly.
Month one of our “Once-a-Month” adventure was supposed to start in November, but a couple of all-the-stars-aligned moments occurred spurring us to start early.
First, we arrived at church early enough to both find a good sit and read through the bulletin before the service started. (Star-alignment number one.)
My husband nudged me to look at an excerpt from the bulletin outlining information on supporting orphans.
“We could start here,” he said.
We had a starting point for our raising kids who give journey. That felt good.
After the church service, we usually zip past the tables set up in the foyer to pick up our 3-year-old, who finds Sunday School unbearable.
Well, unless we are his teachers, which we are every other week…enough to tease him with our presence, but not enough to give him the assurance that we’re always there like he’s wanting. So we forced our 3-year-old to cowboy-up a bit longer while we – ready for this? – browsed leisurely through the giving tables and gathered all the info we could about this organization. (Star-alignment number two.)
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Later at home, we spread the pamphlets out on the floor and dug in.
What could we do to help? Scanning the list of 10 ideas, our two oldest sons took charge.
“We could pray,” one kid brainstormed.
“We could give money,” said our other son. He then thought for a minute and added, “and jewels.“
Done. That’s what we are doing. Minus that jewels because we aren’t the Royal Winsor Family and I’m a little bit attached to my wedding ring.
We’re supposed to be the ones helping others, but I find myself as the person with moments of being completely moved.
For example, one night during our bedtime prayers, my oldest piped up at the end, “We didn’t remember to pray for the orphans too.” There’s something incredibly touching about seeing my boys – whose favorite activity is to dogpile each other like little puppies during the day – pray so tenderly for orphans.
What’s also moving is as I’m talking about this with my friends, I find out they’re doing all sorts of world-changing stuff too. They just aren’t wearing it on their sleeve. (They must have read that bible passage about doing good things but…discretely.) It’s exciting to notice the community, the living church meeting needs in loving, tangible ways.
Honestly, when my husband and I were talking about starting this monthly giving journey, I was worried about finding places to help/serve/give.
I only need to look up from my life because there was an easy opportunity right in front of me.
So here we are in month one, off to a good start. We had some good family moments around giving and that makes my momma’s heart happy. Let’s keep going. I’m excited about next month.
Our Family’s Once-a-Month Giving/Service Projects were featured on parenting.com. (This blog’s original name was Since I Became a Mom before it became Empowered Moms and Kids.)
Are you also trying to raise kids who give? Read more about our once-a-month giving strategy.
“The benefits of actively fostering children’s charitable impulses are enormous. Besides helping counter the overdeveloped ‘gimme’ impulse, it gives kids a powerful boost in self-esteem to realize they can make a difference in someone’s life. ‘And as corny as it sounds,’ says Patricia Schiff Estess, a New York City writer and the author of (Amazon affiliate link) Kids, Money & Values, ‘when you help a child help others, you are helping to create a better world.'”
That lesson floating around our home for a year? Yes, please.
So, we started what we’re calling the “Once a Month” strategy. Each month, we looked for a way to give, and very often, it involves just noticing what’s already in front of us. (Convenient!)
Here’s how the once-a-month giving strategy rolled out:
If you decide to take use this giving strategy, remember this is YOUR THING. Do what God places on YOUR HEART. Whatever works, big or little. Your family will be moved by however you decide to extend your hand. And hopefully, so will the people you give to.
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.