Developing the notion of generosity however is an important antidote to the natural self-centeredness of the typical child. It is something that can be started early in small ways and then developed into bigger projects as the child grows. Too many children in this country (and adults for that matter) are insulated from the inequalties, the hardship in the world. Developing service projects as whole families is one way to overcome this. Determining the child's interests and concerns and then finding ways to serve in those areas is the best way to get cooperation. Taking into consideration the personality of the family members involved (as in all family projects) is critical as well. Some children are better at being the leader while others are less likely to take on a leadership role but are quite dedicated workers. Age is of course a factor as well but even young children can learn to give food, toys or clothing to those in need. The best and most life changing service however, is service that involves giving of more than our excess. It involves giving something more substantional such as spending a Saturday morning in a soup kitchen for the homeless, or volunteering in a nursing home to visit with residents who have no family. It's cleaning up a park or helping out at an animal shelter. Service that moves us out of our comfort zone and challenges us to make a difference in the world develops children and ultimately adults, of compassion and character.
I'm a big Dave Ramsey fan and love all of his children's books! Here's a good one for children on the imprtance of giving: