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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

(Editor’s note: please welcome Stan’s post with suggestions for teaching kids to serve. Thanks, Stan!)

There are many important lessons that we all want to teach our children as they grow up. There are plenty of ways to incorporate these lessons into everyday life. If you are going to have an outdoor party, for example, you can teach your children how to serve others. Leading a lifestyle of service can greatly benefit any child as they enter into adulthood.

It is helpful if, before you have the outdoor party, you make sure your children understand that even though you want them to have fun, they are also expected to help. The children may actually be even more excited about the party once they hear that they can help make it happen. There are a number of things children can do to serve others during an outdoor event.

Option 1: Put Kids in charge of drinks
Children, depending on their age, often like getting drinks for people. Tell your kids to ask guests if they would like a drink when they first arrive. Once everyone has a drink in hand, ask the children to circulate and watch for glasses that may be low. They can then begin to offer refills. You can make it even more simple by setting up a drink station. Place the child at the station and have them get the drinks as people come by, wanting a refreshment. They will not only have fun getting the drinks, but they will likely get to talk to everyone at the party.

Option 2: Allow children to seat guests
As guests arrive and mingle, children can insert themselves into conversations and ask the guests if they would like to have a seat. If the guest agrees, the child can lead them to a seat and ask if that particular chair will work. This option will allow the children to have conversations with each guest as they arrive and find their seats. If the guests are mingling too long when you need to get dinner on the table, the children can be quite helpful to move things along.

Option 3: Put children in charge of personal items
Whenever you have an outdoor party, guests may bring extra items. They might have a jacket, a purse, a diaper bag or something else. When the guests arrive, have the children meet them at the door. They can ask if there is anything they can take for them and then store those items in the storage bench on the patio. That way, the purses and coats are easily accessible if they are needed, but they are also out of the way.

In order to teach children how to serve others, it is important that they are included into every aspect of life, even the outdoor events.

Stan Horst enjoys spending time with his wife, two teenage children, and dog Toby Jax. They spend much of their down time outside fishing, hiking, camping, and enjoying nature. When Stan is not outside, he publishes a website about quality benches like the Kingsley and Bates line.

Earnest Parenting: tips for parents who want to teach their children service.

Image courtesy of ankatank via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.