If you Google Search recommendations on how to raise generous children, almost every list of ideas begins with — or at least contains — the directive for adults to be good models of generosity themselves. Our children learn from our actions much more than from our words. Of course, when I think back over the years while my children were growing up, I think I may have learned as much from them as they learned from me. There is a time between early childhood and middle school where a child seems to be freer to give and share than at any other time in life. It is around the age of First Communion when the cries of “mine” turn to laughter and smiles, and the urge to be a part of something bigger than oneself leads to sharing. Before you know it, the child hits the pre-teen years, and once again, he or she becomes the center of the universe.
I believe that the previous paragraph is all true, however, the stages described seem to repeat themselves throughout adulthood. Don’t you agree? Sometimes we fall into seeing ourselves as the center of the universe, or we become consumed by our state in life or with what we have acquired. Also, we at times are generous and loving people. It is sin that draws us back into ourselves and away from any meaningful life of stewardship and generosity. In order to be freed for love, we need role models to help us see what really matters. We need to reflect on the example of many of our brothers and sisters in Christ. And, yes, we need to look to children who may be at the point in their lives where sharing is fun, and love is something in abundance.
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS