The concept of serving has always been close to my heart. It’s been a part of my life since I was a little kid. And, I have always enjoyed the experience of doing something significant—or seemingly not so significant—simply from a place of love and a desire to encourage someone.
So, I’m going to devote one post each Saturday to blogging about serving-related topics. I’ll refer to it as Saturday Serving Spotlight.
As we look for opportunities to serve, we really don’t need to look any farther than the people with whom we live. Our spouses and our kids are prime recipients of our loving acts of service. As a matter of fact, there may be no better way to show your family that you love them than to do something kind—an act of service—for them.
Here are ten ways to serve your kids:
1. Give plenty of hugs and kisses. Whether they’re toddlers, elementary-aged, teenagers or adults, your kids need to be reminded that you love them. One of the easiest ways to reinforce your love for your kids is to give lots of loving, reassuring touches.
2. Establish a regular daddy or mommy date night with your kids. Life can be busy. When demands overwhelm, something has to give. Often it is regular time with family that is the first to go. Establish a time and date for one-on-one time with each of your kids and don’t violate it.
3. Help with homework. Of course you can’t do it for them (probably because you don’t remember how to do it). But, sit down with them and dig in. Help with the hard problems. Take interest in what your kids are learning. Instead of just being concerned that it is complete, sit down and help with it. You may learn something you had forgotten years earlier!
4. Take time to listen to what’s going on in their hearts. There may be no more important question for a parent to ask their child than, “What’s going on in your heart?” You ought to know what your kids are worried about, what they’re scared about, what they’re proud about, what they’re struggling with and what they believe in the fiber of their being. If you’ve learned how to communicate about the normal things, you’ll be able to talk about the tough things that come down the road. And, you’ll be able to encourage their hearts all along the way.
5. Make a habit of writing letters to your kids on a regular basis. Make it a discipline to sit down, at least a few times a year, to write letters to your kids. Record special events. Tell them what is on your heart. Let them know the thoughts and feelings you encounter as you raise them. You may choose to read them to your kids along the way. Or, if you’re feeling creative, scrapbook them. If you want to create a special treasure, bind them and give them as a graduation or wedding present. You’ll create a legacy for your kids by simply writing to them.
6. Take them to work with you. Every kid is interested in what their parents do from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Get permission from your boss and let your kids come to work with you. You may not think it’s glamorous work but your kids will be thrilled to see a different side of you.
7. Read to them. Find out what they’re interested in and read a chapter a night. It may be The Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter or—better yet—the Bible!
8. Eat lunch with them at school. Pack your lunch and drop in on your kids at school. Unless they’re teenagers who might not think you’re the coolest person to eat lunch with, they’ll love the extra time together and getting to show you off to their friends.
9. Establish traditions around special occasions. Kids crave traditions. And, there are enough special events, holidays and celebrations throughout the year that you should have no trouble planning plenty of special ceremonies and activities around them.
10. Serve others together. If you set an example of service to your kids and if you take time to serve others together, you’ll sow seeds into your children’s hearts that will continue to grow and bloom for generations.
Enjoy every moment together. And, use lots of those moments to serve your kids. You never know what might happen as a result.