Recently, we sat down with legendary Aussie kids’ entertainer, Colin Buchanan, to talk about raising generous kids…
Do you have any advice for raising generous kids?
I think generosity can be encouraged by considering both own blessings and the needs of others. The gospel is the ultimate example of generosity: the infinite, needless God bestows on dead, helpless rebels his gift of grace. At the cross, Christ makes our greatest need. Blood-bought unearned, undeserved, unbounded forgiveness. Parents need to warm their own hearts with the wonder of God’s gospel generosity. They need to gossip God’s gospel generosity to their friends, Family and their children. Thankfulness overheard may speak much louder than thankfulness rehearsed. Christians know generosity as recipients of God’s gospel generosity.
Thankfulness turns generosity into more than a duty or obligation – generosity is a dynamic delight. Our generosity isn’t generated, it’s passed on. Even more wonderful, generosity imitates out gracious God. What’s true in a divine sense is also true in human sense. To have received earthly generosity – hospitality, help, encouragement, mercy – equips us to be generous.
On the other side of the ledger, becoming aware of the needs of others can help us consider what we do with our own abundance. It’s very helpful to be made aware in clear and simple ways how things that we may take for granted – and consider essential – are either inaccessible or unavailable to others and that we have the means to help and provide for those who lack shelter, health care, education and spiritual nurture. Sharing that equation – LACK + PLENTY = LOVE – is something that parents can teach children to do with their time, their toys, their friendships. Again, generosity naturally and unknowingly modelled may actually be the most powerful aid to instruction. Perhaps it’s the parents generosity of eye contact or a screen switched off that will help grow generosity in the hearts of our children.
How can kids get involved in the work of Compassion?
Child sponsorship seems to have a potent capacity to explain itself to children. The fact that we deal with an individual, whose name we know, whose face we see in the photograph, his words we read in a letter creates lots of concrete connections between the child sponsors and the sponsored child. Keeping the compassion card on the fridge, sharing in the letter writing duties, praying perhaps briefly but regularly for our sponsor children maintains A simple and powerful sense of involvement amongst the whole family.
I have also observed that the act of sponsorship by a youth group, school or church that our kids are involved with very much cements our kids participation with the work of compassion. Multiple sponsorships at church must be a very special thing. It involves us and our children in a community of compassion.
To find out more, visit www.compassion.com.au