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“Phah! Teach Kindness? Don’t You Want to Teach Them Real Skills?”

Is Teaching How to Serve and Be Kind a REAL Skill?

From a conversation I recently had at a park while my kids were playing.

Lady at the Park: Your kids were telling mine that you guys go do something service-like every day.

Me: Yes.

Lady: Wouldn’t you want to spend that time teaching them something that will help them, like teaching them a real skill?

Me (in my head–it teaches sooooo many “real skills”): It does teach skills that are real, ones that many would consider marketable. But, let me ask you something. You have three kids right?

Lady: Yes.

Me: Would you rather your kids’ future spouses play academic games on their iPads each day of their life until they are 18 or would you rather they spent that time learning to be kind and compassionate?

Lady: Oh, I see what you mean.

Prioritizing what you want your kids to learn is important. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you want your kids to be more compassionate and have empathy for others, then consistently provide opportunities for them to learn those lessons. A one shot service project wonder every year at holiday time will not do it effectively.

Along with scheduling in T-ball practice and piano lessons every month, write in opportunities on the calendar to serve with your kids. It can be serving others with your kids once a week, once a month, or every day . . . decide what you feel is best for your schedule and be consistent.

Oh, and as far as it a real skill?  I don’t think I need to enumerate on how it is a skill, but in case you are curious, go visit the Greater Good Science Center.

How do you schedule in time to make sure to teach your kids to be kind and serve others?