October 22, 2018, 7:27 AM

How Can I Teach My Child About Giving?

"Children learn what they live" surely isn't a time-worn phrase, but it is time tested. It comes from a poem written by practitioner, parent educator, and family counselor Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D. The poem has been shared countless times in magazines, memes, and even by a baby formula manufacturer; and provides insight into positive motivation for children that has withstood the test of time. Research study after research study proves the validity of this simple poem and provides an equally simple guide for parents on how to develop these vital characteristics in their children.

Learning to give at Christmas can be a difficult lesson for children. It is so much fun getting caught up in the joy and anticipation of the season: shopping, decorating, baking, wishing. But a gift that serves children far beyond Christmas morning and provides them with the skills and temperament necessary to be a quality human are the gifts of patience, appreciation, love, generosity, respect, and the understanding that the world is a wonderful place. These are gifts that can be shared with your child at the Operation Christmas Child Packing Party at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School on Fri., Nov. 9, beginning at 3:30 PM. 

At the Party, you and your child will write letters to children around the world and then grab a shoe box and pack a gift with items selected by your child from the mountain of options provided. The atmosphere of patience and acceptance for all ages and all temperaments provides lessons in patience and love. Understanding that these gifts are for someone they will likely never meet, not something they get to take home themselves, is a strong lesson in sharing and generosity. And when they experience being treated kindly by Packing Party volunteers, and being kind to another, they learn the true meaning of respect. Wrap it all together and you've not only provided a child in need with the joy of unexpected gifts and the message of Jesus' love, you've provided your child with an afternoon of priceless lessons. 

The community is always invited to this annual event; we hope to see you there!


Children Learn What They Live
by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with 
fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel 
If children live with 
jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with 
shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn 
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to 
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn 
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have 
faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte



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