“When your kids grow up in a house where giving is a priority, they start to see themselves differently because they see other people differently. Other people become significant, and doing things for others becomes a priority. The antidote for selfishness isn’t a theory; it’s an action, and that action is giving.”
-Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze
As the dust settles and life returns to normal after the buzz of the holidays, it is often a time for reflection. There are a few days left of this year and people start thinking about new year’s resolutions. There are the goals that are attainable and the reaches that seem a little lofty. But none the less, it is important to think about what can be accomplished if you try. For these are the lessons that we can pass on to our children.
One of my favorite memories from the holiday preparation was from my son. He decided on his own to use his own money to buy a present for his Dad. He carefully selected a small notebook at the school book fair. He wanted my husband to have a place to write important notes in. It was priceless, as was his face when he gave this heartfelt gift.
This morning, my daughter told me she wanted to give some of her older toys to kids in at a Children’s Hospital who did not have any toys. So as she clutched her new doll and waited patiently to paint her nails with her new nail polish, she thought of someone else.
The concept of giving is a difficult one for younger children because they are so egocentric. According to Saul McLeud egocentrism refers to the child’s inability to see a situation from another person’s point of view. According to Piaget, the egocentric child assumes that other people see, hear, and feel exactly the same as the child does. This stage generally is most commonly seen between the ages of 2 and 7, but still exists well beyond that time frame in some form. This explains why we are faced with our children’s “it’s all about me” mindset-to some extent they just can’t help it.
I have started to think about my resolutions for the coming year. I hope to be more patient, more understanding, and more physically fit. I hope my children will have similar ideas about their goals for 2015. But I will lead by example first. I will make sure that thinking of the needs of others-family, friends, neighbors, or complete strangers, is a part of our daily routine.
So as you clean up the wrapping paper, eat the last few Christmas cookies, and watch the kids play with their new games and toys, consider making a resolution about giving that will last the whole year long. It makes your heart feel full and that is magical.