You don’t have to teach children to imagine. They don’t have to learn, because imaginative play is a part of normal child development.
That doesn’t mean that you don’t need to cultivate it, especially as a child gets older. And some people do seem to be more imaginative than others.
I’ve also found that small children naturally want to help. And older children, more often don’t leap at the opportunity.
So we as parents have to cultivate a heart for service.
What some are ways to do that?
3 simple ways are –
- Have regularly assigned chores.
- Request your child’s help with additional projects.
- Find service opportunities in the community.
So if you do all those things, you will have children who have a servant’s heart, right?
Well, not so fast.
First, we must remember that we are all sinners and are by nature selfish. I have to keep that in mind with all the child rearing “formulas”. Do a, add in b, and that equals perfect children. No! It’s true that some people are more naturally empathetic and want to help, but Christ is the only one who served others perfectly.
Second, and this is a doozy, we have to look at our own attitudes toward service.
How am I serving my children?
I know, I’m a mother of 5. I serve my family all the time. I cook, I clean, I do laundry, and I teach them. I don’t need any lessons in service. And yet, do I cheerfully get up when my 2 year old needs something, or do I tell him to wait while I finish what I’m doing? Do I calmly pick up the mess for the 97th time, or do I yell and go on and on about how messy everyone is and how nobody does anything around here? (This is all theoretical of course.) Yes, children need to learn to be patient and to clean up their messes, but how often am I just being selfish?
Sometimes it helps to get outside of our normal routine. Experiencing the joy of serving others in unusual ways, might just help us remember that joy in the mundane ways too.
Do you need some creative ideas for service?
This summer is the A.C.T.S. Summer of Service. You can download some great ideas for service on their website.
In honor of imagination, you can also download a free copy of Voyage with the Vikings, Imagination Station Book #1.
Finally, I am hosting a giveaway for the first 3 Imagination Station books!
Follow the instructions below to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway