In today’s society, our children are what the old folks considered “spoiled”. Their generation is highly influenced by the fast moving internet, mobile apps like Facebook and Instagram, and video games have become the main hangout. Although religious practices have somewhat touched on the importance of manners, and saying “thank you”, children can still become frustrated when dealing with day to day disturbances to the childhood they’ve grown accustomed too. For this reason, I want to discuss 6 ways to teach your children the importance of sacrifice.
Just the other day, my son and I were out walking and he said “Mom, why is the internet off, I can’t even play my game”. I laughed in the back of my mind, because he sounded like me at 12 years old. That’s where the basis of this discussion came about. The things I talk about in this article, are the same things that I said to him, and it definitely shed some light on why us parents make certain decisions for the betterment of our children and household. I hope this helps you as well.
1. Teach Them Gratitude (To be Thankful)
Telling a child to be grateful can sound redundant to them, as they have probably heard it so many times.
Whether they have or haven’t, explain that the underlying vibration of gratitude is of being in alignment with God (or the Universe). Heck you may even add that this is the “sweet spot” of becoming a magnet for all of the things they desire. This vibration attracts lots of scenarios or things to be grateful for.
Kids are always open to receiving, and usually not so excited about giving. Let them know that not all forms of giving are physical, they are also non-physical, and in order to receive, one must give.
2. Explain What Sacrifice Means
Most children don’t understand what sacrifice truly means.
If you are religious, or Christian, they may be familiar with the bible saying of how, Jesus sacrificed his life, in order to give life to creation. Or, in certain cultures, certain animals or objects were sacrificed as blessing offerings to the Gods in the heavens. However, sacrifice in their own home may seem unsettling. Most children are concerned with the now moment, and can’t wrap their minds around the reasoning why they can’t have something right now.
Explain to your child, sometimes as parents, we have to make small sacrifices for the things we want. Sometimes we have to give in order to receive, even if it means letting go of something temporarily, to achieve a much bigger goal. It’s only temporary.
3. Put it in Context They Can Understand
It can take a while for kids to let go of their favorite toy, video game, baby doll, clothes, etc… because of the value it holds. The memories that are tied to those objects are hard to let go. Same with certain additions such as cable, phones, wifi etc.. They get used to using these tools, that they can’t imagine life without them.
Make it About Them
Have them think about exchanging video game time for becoming a famous athlete in their favorite sport. All of the time, effort, and hard work that is required would pretty much make video games nonexistent, or only a quick pleasure during free time.
Now About You.
Everything you do for them is out of unconditional love, and genuine support of their immediate and distant future. Maybe, you want to save money for a family vacation or rainy day. You probably have to cut back on leisure expenses so that you can purchase a bigger home in a desired location in the next 6 months. Show your child that these small leisure’s are actually taking away from the bigger plan, and is only a small price to pay, for even bigger smiles later.
4. Help Them See the Value
Every celebrity, author, artist or idol that they look up too, had to sacrifice to be in the position they are in.
A great idea (that works every time and is fun too) is have them research the footsteps of their favorite idol. Walk them through their journey so that their bright little minds are enlightened by the insider information that happens behind the scenes for outwardly successful people.
This will encourage your child to use their time wisely, and pay attention to the value of time. Leisure activities will begin to take a back seat, or at least reduce significantly, once they learn that sacrifice is one of the key ingredients to achieving any goal.
5. Reminder: Sacrifice is Only Temporary!
Be sure to remind your beloved, that sacrifice DOES NOT mean forever. It is just a temporary detachment from the minor pleasures for a higher purpose. Sometimes kids can grow anxious when they feel pried away from their accustomed lifestyle, but if it has to take place due to special circumstances, then they must develop an appreciation for releasing “material” or “minor” things that don’t hold importance in the present moment. However, these absences do not ( or don’t have to) last forever.
6. Ask: What Are You Willing To Sacrifice
This is a fun quest you can take with your child.
No matter what age your child is, they are changing everyday. Their interests change regularly, as their social life, school life, and home life change. Ask them about their biggest goals that they want to achieve. Find out what they are willing to sacrifice presently in order to bring their dreams to life.
I am sure they will be surprised by how easy it is to replace a leisure activity for fun filled activity that they genuinely enjoy doing.
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Peace & Love