The little boy bows his head and prays. Every time, he remembers her name. And hers. And his. And if I am negligent, he remembers. Their hurts are his. Carried on the shoulders of a four year old.
I have much to learn from him.
So how do you grow that sensitivity from four to fourteen to forty? How does it mature and how do you balance it with strength?
These are some questions that I’ve been asking myself.
I don’t know the answers yet, but this is what we’re learning so far:
15 Ways to Raise Children Sensitive to the Needs of Others
1. Model sensitivity yourself. Look for needs in the grocery store, next door, and within your own family. Respond.
2. Be intentional. Beyond ballet and basketball, look for ways to get children involved in serving at a young age.
3. Do not give into fear. Look to God for faith.
4. Visit those who are sick or elderly. Sit with them and talk. Sing songs. Listen a lot and learn. Laugh together.
5. Host an Open House for someone in recovery. Invite friends and family to encourage.
6. Bring Joy. Make silly cards to make someone smile. Take funny photographs. Be ridiculous.
8. Learn God’s Word together. Refer to it often.
9. Go! Take your children on a missions trip.
10. Do not shelter them. Allow them to see needs. Talk about what you’ve seen.
11. Sponsor a child from Compassion.
12. Give. Go on a shopping spree for Operation Christmas Child, a food bank, a friend. Give anonymously.
13. Allow them to experience diverse settings.
14. Encourage thankfulness.
15. Cook together. Make your favorite recipe for someone who could use a night off from cooking – a single mom, a new mom, a widow, a college student, etc.
Now it’s your turn. What do you do in your family to grow senstivity? I would love any suggestions or personal stories that you may have. Thanks so much! We are a work, very much in progress.