5.17.2012

Teaching Kids About Work, Pt. 3

Principle #3:  Giving

When my kids were younger I used to think that if I didn't teach them about money when they were young they would never learn how to manage their money.  I also wanted them to get in the habit early of paying their tithing.  However, in studying for this class I have come to something else I think is vitally important. 

Going along with the first two principles I came across this scripture: 
"But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God."  - Jacob 2:18

And then I was even more struck by the next verse:
"And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them and ye will seek them for the intent to do good - - to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick adn the afflicted."  (v. 19)

I have come to a personal philosophy.  Before the age of 8 children don't need much money, if any at all.  It is during those beginning years that we teach them these principles (work, patience and giving) without money in hand.  I believe that if we teach them the "things of God" first, placing characteristics before monetary value of their work, they will then naturally "seek [money]for the intent to do good." 

Giving their money will come naturally to our children if they have learned to "seek first the kingdom of God."  They will not hoard what they receive, such as King Noah who "placed his heart upon his riches, and...spent his time in riotous living...[who] built many elegant and spacious buildings...and he also built himself a spacious palace, and a throne in the midst thereof...(Mosiah 11:8-14)."

With that said, I believe the best way to teach our children to give their money is by serving with them while they are young.  There are many ideas out there, but most importantly is involving our children in the service we normally render, such as taking meals to those in need or weeding our neighbor's yard. 

I knew early on I wanted my children to gain compassion towards those who are mentally handicapped.  Fortunately, there is a couple in our home who run a nursing home for such individuals because they themselves have a daughter who is mentally impaired.  For the past couple of years we've gone over to their home to play Bingo with the residents every so often.  This has been a great experience for all involved.

Think of a characteristic you'd like to see in your child(ren) and then find a way to meet that need through service.

Find a passion.  What is a cause you feel passionate about?  Find someplace in your community that welcomes your service.  There are so many opportunities. 

"For behold, are we not all beggars?  Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, adn for all the riches whihc we have of every kind?"  Mosiah 4:19

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