Monkey see monkey do. My daughter is just getting to the stage where she tries to mimic what she sees other people do. She sees a rag and starts scrubbing with it, just like she's seen me do. If I give her a bowl and whisk while I'm cooking she'll stir things up in that bowl, just like she's seen me do. She is learning about what she can do by watching what I do.
Anna's got a friend who will start crying if he sees his parents crying. I've seen it happen and it's just about the cutest, saddest thing I've ever seen! He doesn't need to know why his parents are crying, he just gets sad when he sees that they are sad. When little kids fall down, many will look to their parents to see if they need to cry. If the parent looks worried, they get worried. Children learn about emotions by looking to our emotions.
The world is a strange new place to children and they naturally turn to their parents to process how they will act. We as parents have an incredible responsibility to nurture them to be good citizens and caring individuals. We do this best through our actions.
A simple example: My Dad always holds the door open for anyone coming behind him and then goes through himself. Always. I can't ever remember him teaching me that it was courteous to hold the door open for others or telling me that I needed to hold the door open. He just holds the door open. So what do I do? I hold the door open. Why? Because my dad does. I'll admit that I'm not as consistent with it as my dad is but when I can I do and it's all thanks to my dad's example.
We are our children's first and most important role model. If we make service a simple habit of our day-to-day lives, they will too. Make sure that they see us serve in the home. As we fold the laundry, make dinner, sweep the floor, and do the myriad of other household chores, make sure they see us doing them. Talk about how nice it is to be able to serve your family. Have a good attitude about it. Let them help you. When your children see and recognize service in the comforts of their home done by (or with) their parents, it's easier to understand service outside the home.
Want to serve with your kids but don't know how to start? Come to our event tomorrow, August 11, 4-6pm at Emerald Park. We'll be coloring placemats for Meals on Wheels. You're welcome to grab a placemat along with your kid and sit down next to them and color together. Come serve with us!