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Generation Me
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Some are calling this generation of teens and young adults “Generation Me” because they are so self-absorbed. This concerns me because we have a teenage daughter. And we don’t want her to be self-centered.

We want her to hear of a natural disaster in a third world country and feel the pain of the people there. We want her to see that kid sitting alone at lunch and invite him to sit at her table. We want her to bake cookies for a friend who’s having a tough time, or make soup for a neighbor who’s been ill. We want her to have a heart for the outcasts, the poor, the hungry…the forgotten ones.

Do you want the same for your kids? Here are ideas to get started by Certified Life Coach Sandee Sgarlata, from “Generation Me: 10 Tips For Raising a Selfless Child”1 with some of my own ideas added:

Ideas

1. Instill the belief in a power greater than yourself. Teach your kids about Jesus. Let them know they can always count on Him. Attend church as a family and get them involved in its youth group.

2. Keep kids accountable. Teach them the importance of accountability when things go wrong in life. Help them to recognize their part in any wrongdoing.

3. Teach them to forgive. Help them see that when they refuse to forgive, they stay the “victim.” But with forgiveness comes the reclaiming of their own power to move on.

4. Play the gratitude game. The next time they can’t get what they want, or compare themselves with kids who have more, have them make a list of what they’re grateful for.

5. Help them find the good in everyone. When you catch them criticizing or judging someone, stop them and ask them to list some good things about that person.

6. Teach the gift of giving. Help them give when they don’t have to by taking balloons to someone in the hospital, visiting patients in a nursing home, giving childhood toys to a toy drive, or doing chores for their grandparents.

7. Involve them in community service. It’s important to let your child choose a community charity or cause that they can take on as their own, and help them participate. As a family, attend school and community fundraisers. Donate items from your home to local charity.

8. Go green. Teach them respect for the environment by recycling, picking up trash in your neighborhood or city park, etc.

9. Encourage kindness. Teach your child, by example, how to show random acts of kindness. Hold the door open for someone, shovel your neighbor’s driveway, or visit a shut-in.

10. Teach the value of money. Open a savings account for them. Help them create a monthly budget and teach them how to use a ledger.

It will take work, but I’m convinced that it’s not too late to raise a generation of kids who look outward. Kids who will have a heart for God and all His children.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


1 http://4give4peace.blogspot.com/2009/04/generation-me-10-tips-for-raising.html


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