Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tis The Season To Give

I was driving with Zach the other day and as we were sitting at a red light we both spot a homeless man with a "Homeless, Need Help" sign.  Immediately, I begin digging through my purse to find some money to give him.  I thought I would even take it a step further and get Zach involved in the "giving" process, so I give him the money to hand to the man.

He totally seemed proud of himself too, happily handing the money over with a big grin.  I have to admit, I felt pretty good as well I had not only opened up the stage for a discussion with him on the importance of giving but also involved him in the giving process.
And the questions began.  We have talked about "poor people" before, it's usually when he is "done" with breakfast after asking for a HUGE amount, only to tell me 10 minutes later he isn't hungry and I have to throw it all away.  I then go into my rant about how some kids do not have anything to eat and how they would not waste the food given to them but I guess that was just words.  Actually, seeing someone in need right in front of him makes it more "real."
I first tell him what the sign said and explain to him how some people are homeless, without jobs and do not even have money to buy food.  And sometimes they become so desperate they ask others for help.
I then continue on about how we should give to the poor and always helps those in need.  This is not our first talk about it but it seems like this talk really is hitting home this time.
Because he just can not believe that the man did not have anything, not even a place to live.
 I thought this would be a good learning lesson for him but seeing how he is sitting there in deep thought and looking a bit confused, I began to question myself.  Maybe this was too harsh of a lesson at his age?  Maybe it is hitting home too much for him?  I want to teach my kids the importance of giving but I also want to protect them (for awhile) from the cruel circumstances some of us are dealt.  And I especially do not want him to start worrying about us ever possibly being homeless or starving.  And now I started to worry as his next question came....
 
And the innocence of children win in the end.

17 comments:

  1. I've had those moments when I think I'm fixing to have a breakthrough moment with my kids and they come up with something completly different than what I expect.

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  2. I am always giving money at my window to people when we are in the city. The kids and I talk about people less fortunate as well.

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  3. That is so cute that he analyzed it all the way down to the sign!

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  4. lol, awwww...it really is the season to give. Just yesterday, I gave a bunch of meal coupons to a homeless man with a dog outside of McDonalds. The thought running through my head though, how could he afford to keep/take care/feed a dog when he was saying all he had for lunch was his drink?

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  5. I love involving my sons with giving to others. My little one thinks you have to deposit coins in the buckets for the bell ringers to be allowed to enter the stores right now, he is only 3 so we are working on getting him to understand it is not a fee to enter but something to help others, lol. We are a work in progress. Awesome that your son loved helping someone.

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  6. That is an important lesson to learn! I have been doing service with my children since before they knew what it was and they all as adults and older children have such love and empathy that is is second nature to them and a constant activity in our everyday lives. You are a great mom to involve your children in taking action to make the world a better , friendlier and more caring place for everyone.

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  7. A summer or two ago we were in the city and this man had a homeless sign. We didn't have any cash on hand but we had just bought a bunch of Gatorade. We gave him a couple and he seemed so grateful. I felt both happy {at how happy he was} and ashamed {at home much I had and how little he did}. It's sad how much we take for granted.

    Dawn

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  8. I'm certainly all for helping those in need of help. Your son does bring up a good point as far as the sign is concerned (although a sign is pretty much free). First of all you don't really know the circumstances of the people who are looking for handouts and you don't know how the funds will be used by that individual. I've heard stores of people who aren't out of work & are well off pull this stunt & getting away with it. As CinnyBBS suggests there are certainly better options for things you can hand out to them such as gift cards, certificates, coupons, etc. At least with those you know the money is going to the right place for the correct purpose. Personally speaking I think there needs to be a better way our society helps these people who are less fortunate, so that they aren't out on the roads or at stores asking for handouts. I think our society as a whole needs to find a better way to handle this situation. That's where we really need to start. This way we are helping both the person in need and our society as a whole. It's a win-win for everyone and everyone gets what they want.

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  9. What a great lesson to teach your child. It's easy for us to make assumptions like some of the other comments suggested, but doing what feels right to your heart is always my motto. You never know the whole story and if you feel led to share a bit of money, more power to you and your son! THANKS for sharing!!

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  10. It is important to teach our children to give and to help those around us. I am still trying to figure out the best way to go about it. :-)

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  11. This is a great thing to teach your kids. My mother always carried an extra coat in the car, in case we needed to give it to someone who needed it. I now do the same, plus small bags of dog and cat food, to give away to those who need it more than I do.

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  12. That's something my son would say! He's very analytic like that. Good for you for teaching (or at least trying) him the importance of giving back.

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  13. I plan to teach my kids the importance of helping those less fortunate. My son is 3 & so now is the perfect time to start having conversations with him. He loves people so I'm sure he will continue to grow an even bigger heart than he already has. :)

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  14. It's a very important lesson to teach - generosity to others! And your son's response is adorable.

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  15. That is just great! The harshness of reality is so hard to share with our young ones, but the response of his was wonderful, to give and be generous.

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  16. Love it! Your cartoons expression was an adorable touch!

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