Whew! What a whirlwind week it has been at the Mentor Mom household, e.g., Christmas programs, class parties, baking cookies. No wonder so many of us get stressed around the holidays! I've spoken many times regarding traditions, one of my favorites is sharing the gift of helping others in need with my children. I truly believe in karma, i.e., that you get what you give. I always tell my children "Do good deeds and good things will happen to you."
In this vain, our family along with the generous patrons of our coffee shop adopt a family who is struggling every year. Being a social worker, the families with whom I work frequently ask me for referrals to agencies such as Toys for Tots, Angel Tree Network, etc., to help them with Christmas. Sometimes these requests come after the referral deadline, so we often end up adopting these families (unbenounced to them) to ensure that all have a gifts to put under the tree.
We've all heard the saying that it is better to give than to receive. As adults, we understand the joy of giving to those in need. We should all try to find ways to allow our children to experience this. The holiday season offers a wonderful opportunity to do so. In our case, I take the kids shopping with me and have them help pick out gifts for the children and help with the shopping. The best part is delivering the gifts. After delivering the gifts this year, my son said "Wow, that felt great!" Bingo! He gets it!
There are many ways to give back, e.g., donating a toy to your local Toys for Tots campaign, volunteering at the local soup kitchen, or baking cookies and making homemade Christmas cards to be shared with elderly neighbors or the local senior citizens home. Planting the seeds of compassion, empathy and giving at an early age is one of the most precious gifts that we give our children.
Speaking of giving and compassion, I want to share a tragic story about a local man. His wife tragically passed on after the birth and deliver of their triplets. It breaks my heart to think about the pain and anguish he is going through at what should be a joyous time. You can read more about it here. Please note that they have set up a memorial fund should you feel like helping out this family in need.
How do you teach your children to give back? Please post your responses!