We are incredibly grateful to the family and friends who have shown support through gifts, time, and of course food as we adjusted to having Harlan in our lives. He’s a lucky, lucky guy and I hope those who have helped with material and temporal gifts, will also help him to learn how important it is to give back to others and to your community.
As we’re living the MINE and NO phase in full effect with Cora, it seems impossible a concept to share with a very young person. To give Cora credit, she has become an incredibly helpful member of the family, bringing me blankets or pacifiers for Harlan. She’s learned to say “It’s OK” when he’s crying to try and soothe him. She even set the dinner table yesterday while I was making dinner. The attention span certainly isn’t that of an adult, but her understanding and desire to help people is already pretty broad. So I ask myself what are the best ways to instill charity and volunteerism and when do you start? Is it something you have to put into a lesson? Like the concepts of money, or fractions, or please and thank you, how do you get a little one to really understand what they mean and not have them just be a Pavlovian response you drill into them?
Then a wise friend once shared with me a parenting trend that answers the how and why question for me: the CTFD Method. Parenting styles aside, I hope I can find the time again with two at home to get back into giving back, teaching more classes at the Red Cross, volunteering at the YMCA, getting to know our elderly neighbors, whatever it may be, so that our kids can not just hear it from our mouths, but also see it from our actions.