Ways to Serve as a Family

We don’t have to teach our kids how to be selfish. From the time they are barely a year old we can see their tendency to snatch something they have in hand or throw a complete meltdown when they don’t get what they want.
Deep down, that same selfishness is in even the most grown of us. We want what we want when we want it. If we can teach our kids at a very early age to see their selfishness and consider others above themselves, we will hopefully set them up for the adult years where they won’t always get exactly what they want. From their coping skills to their friendships, learning to serve others helps our kiddos process life more smoothly.

A practical way to teach these life skills is serving together as a family. It’s one thing to tell our kids to stop being selfish, but it’s another for them to watch us lead by example. Our kiddos watch how we drive, how we talk and of course what we do — so serving as a family shows them that we too have to grow in our ability to put others before ourselves.

Here are five ways you can serve together as a family:

  1. Take a meal to someone in need. We all know food is a universal blessing. When your friend has a baby or someone is sick, bring them a meal before they even ask for help. More importantly, enlist your kids to pick the menu, help prepare and then deliver it with you. Don’t push your kids away while you simply check off a to-do. Rather, show them the whole process of how to bless someone else.
  2. Write notes or thank you’s to relatives/people who invest in your family’s life. Even your littlest one can scribble on a card. Talk with your kids about the importance of community and then thank those people that continue to influence you and your kids.
  3. Know your neighborhood trash schedule. Many of us forget when our own trash goes out and I’ve found myself running outside in my pajamas to make sure the truck gets it on their way back down the street. By simply knowing our trash schedule, we can look for the elderly in our neighborhood and help them roll their trash can out. Additionally, at the end of the day my kids roll trash cans in for others without them knowing.
  4. Serve someone who typically serves you. It could be your postlady or the fire station. Sure, that is their job, but it is a job of considering others and they meet practical needs daily. Leave a surprise gift for your postlady or take a box of candy, snacks and fun treats to the fire station. Everyone loves a surprise gift and your kids will share in their joy!
  5. Adopt a family for Thanksgiving or Christmas. The holidays are quickly approaching and there are countless ways to serve others. One is adopting a family for a major holiday. The Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children here in Waco always has ways to serve, but especially around the holidays. My kids learned a lot by picking out gifts for kids their ages and when they really wanted it for themselves, we were able to have a long conversation about how to love others before ourselves.
These are just five ways and I am sure you could think of plenty more!
It’s important to remember that we don’t serve others to make us feel better about ourselves.
We serve to truly bless others, meet them in a place of need and simply encourage them to press on in the daily fight.
We never know what others are experiencing, but we know how we feel when loved and so we extend that same love wherever possible.
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Johnna King moved to Waco in January of 2017. She met her husband in college and after 9 years in the Marine Corps, they prayed for place to settle down and raise their family. She is the Domestic Engineer of Team King which currently consists of eight littles. Her oldest is 11, then 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 2 & 16 months . She is due with their 9th in the summer of 2022. Motherhood is one of Johnna's many passions. She equally enjoys growing in obedience to Jesus, homeschooling the kids, running/weight lifting, photography, interior design, holistic living and writing. There is usually a half-read book on her nightstand. She runs their family blog www.kingsparenting.com. You can always find Johnna looking for new places to eat, planning a date night or taking another picture.