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I’ve been sharing lately about actively listening to our kids, respecting them, making them know they’re more important than our phones, and sharing the things that they love. Today’s topic is going to swing the other way… sort of.
Today I’m encouraging you to let your kids know that it’s not all about them.
We’re raising an only child, and it’s so easy for her ego-centric self to think that the world revolves around her. We make an effort to let her make choices, have input, voice her opinion. But sometimes it needs to not be what she wants to do, not be the place she wants to go. Sometimes we need to take an opportunity to help our kids put themselves aside and place others’ needs and desires above their own.
One prime example that we’re running into lately is unloading the dishwasher. “Why do I have to help?” is the question that I keep getting. And I’m sticking to my answer. “Because you’re part of our family, and our family works together to get things done for each other.” (Plus every once in a while I throw in the fact that I loaded those dishes that SHE helped get dirty. It’s all about being fair, right? 😉 ) She might sigh and do the task reluctantly, but it’s one little lesson in pitching in, doing something you’d rather not do, for the benefit of the family.
Another teachable moment came when we did our back-to-school shopping for a local girl who needed some help getting school supplies for this year. As we drove into the shopping plaza, I let Emma know that the day’s trip wasn’t about her. I even used those words…. Today is not about you. It’s not about me. I let her know that the day was about helping someone else, about not being selfish. Mentally prepping her ahead of time and then asking for her input on the purchases we made seemed to do the trick. She was excited to help someone else.
With Christmas right around the corner, we’re getting ready for some excellent opportunities to teach the It’s-Not-All-About-You concept. Maybe it’s filling a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child or wrapping gifts for a local family in need or baking cookies for a neighbor. We’re going to be very intentional about moving away from that natural self-centeredness to considering the wants and needs of others.
Do you have any special ways that you teach your kids it’s not all about them?
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