• Erin Dickson

Pay it Forward - Teaching your Children Compassion and Kindness

Try out this free workbook! Create AWESOME behavior in Children in 4 Steps!

I've always enjoyed giving to others, but I never understood the significance of it. If there was one quality I wanted my children to have, it was kindness and compassion. It's difficult to truly know if you're teaching it, when your so caught up in the chaos of daily life. Chores, work, chores, kids fighting, chores...it seems that there's not a lot of time to embrace the simple things, teach them values and be pro-active as a parent. Sometimes we are doing these things, but just don't realize it until we see evidence of it, which I recently did.

I've been making more of an effort to give and donate. I have always donated my time and energy, but rarely have I donated money. I've always found excuses, that I just don't have enough or that I have too many things to provide for my own children. What I've recently discovered is that when you feel restricted in your giving, the money is restricted in coming to you. If you make an effort to live in abundance and try to donate a portion of your earnings, then you will see it come to you in various ways.

Try out this free workbook! Create AWESOME behavior in Children in 4 Steps!

I was discussing this with my step-daughter and talking about how I try to pay for the person behind me in line at Dunkin Donuts once in a while. She took this and ran with it, later she told me that she never went through the Dunkin Donuts line if she could not also pay for the person behind her. I was so impressed with her selfless attitude, but it gets better. She had been trying to raise money to attend a training in Nashville with a group she was involved in through her school. As a part of the process, she had to write letters and make phone calls to businesses to ask for checks. She came home a few times after work, reporting to us that she hadn't had any luck and had very few responses. Shortly after this, she began her magic at Dunkin Donuts and the checks started rolling in. She made enough money to attend her trip and then some. Not only did she see the benefits of her efforts, but she inspired me to be less stingy!

It didn't stop there. I now make an effort to do what she does and pay for people in line behind me - consistently. Little did I know, my boys were paying attention. We went on a field trip last week through their day camp. My 9-year-old asked me how much he could have to spend in the gift shop. I told him that he could have $10, he said "okay, that's $5 for me and $5 for my friend who didn't bring any money". Later that day I complimented him on his kindness. He told me that he wanted to make millions...on his Youtube channel...so that he could donate to people who didn't have a lot of money. Even when we think we're not doing what we're supposed to be doing as parents, we might just be.

Try out this free workbook! Create AWESOME behavior in Children in 4 Steps!

We've now taken it further - Dunkin Donuts just wasn't enough! I decided that I wanted to contribute to a bigger cause, make regular donations. I wasn't sure what I wanted to donate to. After thinking about it for a while, I remembered growing up, when I didn't make my own money, I always wanted to sponsor a child from a poor country. I was cautious about this because you always hear stories about where the money actually goes. I did a lot of research and decided on an agency to donate my money to. My son and I went through the website and chose a one-year old boy from Zambia. My son decided on him because he was so young and he might have a better chance later in his life. We began our regular donations and about a month later, received two letters from Jonathan's mother. She thanked us for our kindness and shared things about Jonathan and about their way of life.

Sometimes I think I learn more from my own children than they learn from me. Now I'm always looking for ways to reach out to others in acts of kindness, with no expectations. I know that my children are paying attention and hopefully paying it forward...

Challenge yourself to reach out to someone, with no expectation of return and see what happens.

Struggling to figure out how to create the character traits and behaviors you'd like to see in your children? Try out this free workbook! Create AWESOME behavior in Children in 4 Steps!

Copyright Erin's Online Coaching Camp 2020