Before the holiday season escapes further, sit down with your children and review the blessings that grace your lives. Share your thoughts and ask for theirs, then clearly connect your own blessings and how you intend to make time to better emphasize family ties, spirituality and helping others.
Don't leave the message vague. Articulate values, traditions you will renew and changes you intend to make. With your help, children develop invaluable long-term character traits that reflect your values and enrich the world.
Work to donate
Many people are in need. Arrange ways your children can earn money to donate to nonprofit agencies. Even young children can clean the garage, rake leaves, shovel snow, wrap packages or do numerous chores at home or for neighbors to earn money to share.
Match their contribution with your own. This gives their work greater significance. Earning money for others tangibly assists the needy, prevents children from getting caught in the self-absorption of receiving and nurtures generosity. Explain how the holiday season focuses on needs which continue year-round.
Involve them in service opportunities offered by churches, schools and community groups. More volunteers are needed as collection and distribution of food, clothing and gifts intensifies this time of year.
Brainstorm ways you all can help neighbors or friends who are elderly or infirm. Explain how their actions help others. Encourage them to feel good - without expecting a pat on the back. Be sure to model this behavior.
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And please visit our "Parenting and Family Life" page for even more suggestions to help your kids achieve their highest spiritual potential.