"Mama, can you hand me my water please!"
My oldest was buried in blankets and his water cup was close to the couch, but far enough away that it required a de-blanketing.
I was super comfy and cozy, all snuggled in a blanket across the room from him. I looked over at my husband, and he was just as cozy in the recliner. Yet, he stood up and handed the cup to my oldest. As my husband walked back to his spot on the recliner, he asked "How much is too much?" I knew what he meant. How much do you attend to your kids before you are "spoiling" them?
Sure, we could have handled that simple request in a myriad of different ways.
Disclaimer: I hate the word "spoiled." Kids can't be spoiled. They can, however, be lacking in manners due to missed teaching opportunities. Kids don't automatically know not to take things for granted. Kids must be taught to say the words THANK YOU so we must also teach them to have an appreciate, generous heart.
Back to the story, the more I pondered on my husband's question, I realized that this is where I differ with mainstream society. Much of society forces the idea of a totally independent child. But here's the thing: we are not meant to be completely independent of another human. We are social beings who rely on each other. Even now in my adulthood, I rely on my husband for so much - and vice verse.
I do not want my children to become aloof adults incapable of doing anything for themselves. No. However, I do want them to know how to LOVE others by SERVING them.
In the 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman reveals that one love language is indeed acts of service. You show love by serving others. Think about it. Just this weekend my husband showed his love by finishing a time-consuming project on his honey-do list.
Serving children teaches them how to serve others. Serving others leads to loving others. Loving others leads to a more fulfilled life. More fulfilled lives leads to happiness. Service leads to happiness.
As my husband and I chatted about how serving is in fact a teaching tool, we decided to make some tea. If I hadn't already been convinced about my dedication to serving my children, my tea bag made the point for me.
How do you teach your children to serve others? How do you serve your children? Comment below!
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Wife & Mama with a passion for peaceful parenting, natural living, homeschooling... and my daily café au lait.