Teaching Generosity Part 2

He did it!  My five-year-old was generous.  And not because I made him do it!

Okay, so I poked and prodded him a little… but in the end, he chose to walk up to the check-out counter, pull out his wallet and spend $8 on someone other than himself.

Last week, I asked you how you teach your kids to be generous. We were in the midst of a local crisis—more than 1,500 homes had burned in a massive wildfire including several of our friend’s homes—and I wanted to figure out how to teach my kids to be instinctively generous and to give out of their want instead of out of their plenty.

Anyway, a family we know lost everything in the fire—including a much treasured Star Wars toy collection belonging to their six-year-old son.  We decided to pick up a few things—clothes, necessities, toys for this family and I asked both of my kids if they would like to contribute some of their own money to the cause.  My daughter said yes.  My son said no.

I get it: he has been saving for three and a half months to buy a Star Wars Rocket Ship.  He has earned and saved $24.76 so far.  The ship costs $39.99 plus tax.  And he wasn’t too keen on parting with his hard-earned and hard-saved money.

But, he did it.  And without (much) prompting by me.  I admit.  I laid it on thick.  I told him to imagine what it would be like if he lost all of his toys.  And I told him I’d pray for his generosity.  And, I told him to pray that God would show him a generous spirit.  But in the end, it was up to him and he did it himself.  He decided to go to Target and spend $8 on his favorite Star Wars guy for the little boy.  And he pulled out his wallet and the bills with a smile on his face.

Question for you:  What are your ideas for instilling godly character in your children?


  1. I just wrote my Lowcountry Parent column (already writing for the Christmas issue!) about this idea. Can you really teach the spirit of giving? What I got from my interviews with parents is a whole bunch of ways they lead by example. I think that’s our part. God’s part is making it “click” within the child. I honestly don’t think we can “make it” happen. We can guide their actions, but generosity comes from within. Just my thought on it. :)

    ps- pregnant with the third and so glad to have a copy of your book. Due in Feb.

  2. Bookmarked, I enjoy your blog! :)

  3. you did better than me, erin! my kids only parted with toys and clothes they didn’t want anymore for the fire victims. kudos to joey and his sweet heart.


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