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Raising Selfless Kids

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
July 1, 2022 6:00 am

Raising Selfless Kids

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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July 1, 2022 6:00 am

Blogger Sami Cone offers parents practical advice for teaching their children to overcome selfishness in a discussion based on her book, "Raising Uncommon Kids".

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P present to understand what it is that moves your child let them think they can help others in ways you can help your child become less selfish by seeing the needs of others that; and she's on today's Focus on the Family with your host focus president and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller and Jon, I think every parent wants their child to have a selfless giving heart. But the problem is they come out of the birth canal pretty so Like me me me me me and you know the truth is we as parents are, like that as well and the really hard thing is, how do we as sinners teach our children not to send the real task arena talk about the art of parenting.

In that regard today with a very good guess; is a money-saving blogger in a college speech professor and a media personality in Nashville and is the mom of 20 she's out with her first book. It's called raising uncommon kids 12 biblical traits you need to raise selfless kids semi-welcome to focus and said save the VA things are having me as your first time right first time out here, although I feel like I know you already listen but it's a treat to be here.

It's always fun but okay got it right done to busily with desperate parents.

Out here they have nothing but selfish kids what something I could do to be selfless to turn the mayor on yourself right. If the answer that no instant want to hear and really I hate to disappoint anyone right off the bat. This is an a but this can be a quick fix for your kids. In fact, that the problem that we have and I see my own parenting and with a lot of appearance in this generation is that we want a quick fix for our kids click what can I do well.

The reality is watching you parents this what you're doing and you're right, we are selfish right so the best thing you can do is not try to make your kids all the send to Beatty's altruistic kids that give up their birthday parties to help build wells in Africa but start at home start modeling the behavior you want to see well and in all seriousness, it's a funny topic but it is the thing that is so appropriate to teach a child, but we are selfish as little human beings are we the China flight gets in nature showing itself will absolutely but that's the thing you don't tell your kids at let's boil down to real practical because I don't want anyone walking away from the thinking that I can get some practical tips you don't tell your kids you don't feel like making your bed today worry about it. You don't feel like you now saying yes ma'am yes or okay you don't want to exercise that will be fine.

We have to choose these things right and it's our job to fill in the gaps with our kids and when our kids either don't feel like doing something.

Or maybe just haven't had the experience to know what to do. It's our job to put our arms around them and shepherd them into that role.

So the first thing that we really need to do is let's focus on what is the culture of our home. You'll notice in the book compassion is the 12th characteristic I talked about and that's the problem is that we want that quick fix of selflessness and compassion, but our kids don't know how to respect us as parents or be kind to their siblings or sometimes what it means to really love God and until they understand those characteristics. Selflessness is is way far in the distance. What about I'm thinking I want to push it back on this. I believe modeling is that it's a good start but I know mom that I have in mind.

She's got four grown boys.

Now she's a sweetheart, this mom and dad both emerges just the sweetest couple. She was a schoolteacher and I I would think at least as an outsider to their family while those are great parents, but the kids gave him a run for their money.

Having these boys were pretty tough on them and and so I was curious. Is it just modeling is it that simple, there's gonna be more to it. Let me clarify that because it you're right it's not just modeling but what I learned for myself is that a lot of the quote unquote selfless things I was doing I was doing in private.

Think about it when I tied to our church is online, giving my kids aren't even seeing me when they're in charge of me.

They don't see me put money in the plate when I was volunteering I was doing that myself. They want alongside me. All of these things that I was doing to help others.

They weren't witnessing it so it's not just about talking sweetly or talking respectfully. What are you doing to involve your kids and really the whole genesis of this book is in this moment where I thought my daughter was being so incredibly selfish. I realized what makes my heart bleed or what I care about is them to be the same thing that she cares about and that's how we got to this point in the first place it in that regard. What were some of those examples how did you bring your your kids into see the bigger story, and be a part of it.

Sure. So if I can. What I realize is that we had pictures of our compassion kids on the French writer I was doing the typical note you need to eat your food because Gabrielle I use don't have any food to eat. Are you know be thankful that you have us because they don't have parents and how I was doing all the typical you know they have to walk to school 5 miles uphill both ways and it wasn't bulging and like I said, I really wanted to have one of those if the unit listeners with each take my daughter you know by the shoulder moments and I had to literally leave her room and I fell to my knees and I don't hear got all the time.

I said, you've got to give me something because I don't know what to do with this child and he put this parable in my head and I went back in and and fast-forward. Basically what I said to her was that you know what Gabrielle might not have pajamas and she sat up in her bed and you would've thought I had just told her she had eaten for a year and is likely that connected didn't matter that she didn't have food method and mandatory her. She didn't resonate with the fact that she didn't have food and have parents didn't get to go to school but when I told her that she might not have pajamas.

She was like something mom out and started my wheels trying to see what moves the needle for me is not what's going to move the needle for my kids and it's not can it be the same for both of my kids. So when I talk about modeling. It's you have to show them that you had to take action, but then it's our job as parents to find out what makes each of our children tech because then they are going to be able to show care and concern not only to you as parents, siblings, neighbors, but then other kids that need them around the world makes a lot of sense. Although was that more or less a shot in the darker degrees going through different things very intentionally or was it accidental that you mention pajamas and she responded no to meet because my kids feel like superheroes in their pajamas. The first thing I do when I come home from school. It's you know they love love their pajamas you know it. Think about it. They get pajamas you know what special occasions or cousins hand pajamas down to them so that was really meaningful to her said that I knew enough about my daughter to know that that was something in it and honestly I think it was a little divine knowledge from God to know that that was something that was gonna make a difference. But whether your kids love animals, or whether your kids of basketball. Whatever it is find a way to serve in those areas in the near 12 traits.

That's your heart in the home your time describing that the second one you mentioned is your attitude toward others. You talked about which I thought was a brilliant thing because so often we get bogged down in the busyness of life we don't have time for others. Those outside the family.

But what you did in your yard really spoke to my heart.

What was while I think it's really important, especially in today's day and age we don't always know our neighbors were very quick to drive to the garage close the door and that's it.

Just ask you as your listening. Do you know three of your neighbors and that should tell you the test right so we just moved a few months ago and so we decided to just set up some lawn chairs in our front yard be put out at old table that I could find in the garage. The kid I said kids grab some snacks was potato chips on lollipop let me know. Here is not the fresh farm fresh going out big no predetermined spread and we literally went on social media, there's an app that we use to connect with their neighbors and we went knocked on some doors and said were to be outside. Would love to meet you and literally I mean the chairs and even match.

I think I found some music on our phone but we just made ourselves available and that was a check sometimes we just wait for the perfect moment are the perfect opportunity to move when really you just have to make yourself available and serve where you are and that they just looked like sitting on some lawn chip is on our front yard. Sammy, one of the things when you look at culture seems to be getting worse and worse horse in courser and one of the stories you assured your book. In this regard to your attitude toward others really caught me it was your daughter who who saw a girl coming to school in the same outfit each and every day that really grip me, tell me about that and then talk about why we need to be observant right well sometimes action means just stepping back and observing first listening, watching because were so quick to judge.

You know and and sometimes our children feel like that's a pre-born trait to write is that that characteristic of judgment and fairness and righteousness. And so we had started a new school and I guess she'd been watching this for two weeks and said mom this girls coming to school in the same outfit every day and she was a little embarrassed for her immunogenic cutoff in a public school.

It is an especially she was in fourth grade at the time, so that was emailed just when bullying is kind of starting to take place, and she was witnessing some of those kids taking at her, so you can see this internal dialogue of I don't think that's cool it, but I don't think it's good to pick out what I do and I love that she felt comfortable enough to come to me to say what is this and I said you know I don't know.

But here's what it could be or what do you think it could be insane. You know what return that she didn't have enough money to have new clothes every day and neither did her siblings and so what's in as we look at we hold our hands up to God and Satan knows at this or this, when really there's some other possibility that we haven't fathomed good or bad.

And so with bullying. Sometimes we think will there's the victim and there's the bully and with this, we were able to have a dialogue and say you know what the bystander 7090% of us are the bystanders in that situation we can make a choice to do something or to just stand back and ignore it.

And so in that instance, I can't say she became her best friend, or that they run in the same crowd, but she was able to start a dialogue with her where other kids wouldn't even talk to her. She didn't ask her why do you do that, but she just started a dialogue because everyone else was afraid to even approach her and so sometimes it's just a matter of teaching your kids just to take a step forward so that someone else feels comfortable then coming towards you, and in so many ways it needs to be taught what I mean by that is modeled by writer original drawing. I think kids do see that you have to have a sensitivity to those people around you.

It's an important thing for a parent to teach a child with the MCU model they do and they hope to see you get outside of your norm. That's in our time of being busy and sometimes we just get so rushed in our routine that we fail to see what are the other options around us. And if I could diverge a minute, there's a friend that you note they said what is even what is church look like he was asking questions about what is Jesus really want us to do and he was talking about. They went and fed the homeless at this motel one Sunday and he brought these they been opaque made these brown paper bag lunch as then he went to hand it to a homeless man and the guys like no thanks I friend him. He said dude use that neurotic corner will take what I gave you, and that the guys that will what's in the bag and it caught him up. He said well it's baloney sandwich on white bread with some mustard and mayonnaise and that the homeless man said, well, what you eat that to stop him in his tracks and he said you know what you're right, I wouldn't in the home sensible what you eat for lunch when you have a sandwich that I get a sub, you know, several with some turkey and lettuce and tomato, and onion. He does why do you think I'd be any different and it just made us realize what would Jesus want us to do to survive, to give our leftovers does he want to give the broken toys in the scratch it is he wants to get signed that we would love to receive and lavished on us, but your kids have to first understand what that lavish love is from God and feel it from us as their parents before they can even be to fathom what that means to share it with others.

That is really good.

That was one of the questions I want you what you do with the guy on the corner with the sign and date and you know what we tend to do's will, not every time, but will have the mojo certificate right to fast food place as opposed to having the money but it always starts a dialogue with our songs you know you know do we do something for them or they just doing this as part of their corporate effort this with the duties of vocation and it's hard hard to help your kids understand that when it's every corner is every corner. Especially where were from a national to same thing and that's why I don't think you can have a prescribed responsive were really in a teach our kids what it means to pray throughout the day is where you know ~the Bible and to be led by the spirit, then we have to take each of the situations as they come with her. That just means praying for that person as we see them whether that means sometimes we do give money arc is a symbol can we give them what are they need.

We went and researched what should you put in a quote unquote homeless pack. We there's actual research. They need socks because they're standing all day and so sometimes that just leads into a deeper dialogue that led us to finding a ministry you know sent just have to say decide if you're looking for a job you keep it yourself, you tell your friends hate you know what I just I lost my job. I do know anyone you know of anything you put on social media, will I have a heart for the homeless and so I shared that with an online small group on the part of a member of ours in New Jersey said my gosh I got friends in Nashville that run a great ministry plugged us in and we were able to go out OpenTable Nashville and we were able to go and help kids and I with this homeless minister. They welcome my kids a lot of times you don't see that and the whole time there. I mean they weren't with you that they were given up there for it to go help the homeless and they kinda had their arms folded St. Helens it's gonna take and what we can it do you know there's a beauty and you think I don't know were just in a show up. Let me ask you we talk about the positive nature of the scene. A time when either you failed your husband or your the kids for Menasha Lovett looking for the person you know now always I mean that you know my freedom in Christ coming to know Christ. Later in life is that I didn't have to be a people pleaser. You note were going to fail. There's going to be those in moments and I mean I think they happen daily at least for me and my kids of go through this yesterday like I was like, sometimes we get to that milestone and we did that when I was a, you know, our kids were babies. I am recalling my husband found the perfect bottle that will make them vomit where he like okay dear, then the next day it would happen again. You know, and I feel like we feel that there's a destination where my mentor said it's a journey, and that encourage me and discourage me at the same time, to know that some of those battles that we fight that we think we've overcome are no settled, but we come upon them the next day, but that's when I realize that I have to take a step back as a parent and realize my kids aren't purposely trying to drive me nuts.

Most the time there's a mission to really push me in a spirit we take everything so personally that our kids do and that's where a lot of these battles come in, I found that I had to step back and I do this with my husband now. Sometimes a foreigner you know heated discussion. What do you mean kind of jobs got it figured out. We literally will stop and say were on the same team. You're not my enemy. We are on the same team. You're not my enemy and I found things simple things like incentive poking or pointing a finger we learn our family to put a flat hand on an arm just as they were were not against you were with you and little things that sometimes we have to give ourselves a timeout and think you know what will come back to this tomorrow doesn't have to be solved today.

We have to be respect full and honest, we don't have to figure everything out today listening to Sammy Cohen today on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and were talking about Sammy's book, raising uncommon kids 12 biblical traits you need to raise selfless kids. We've got that available. Just click the link in the program's go-ahead and continue our conversation with; recovered your heart at home.

Your attitude toward others and want to move now to the third one which is your influence in the world and affect it. This was kinda local for you there Nashville to show that huge flood right. In fact, I was down there. Not long after going to the Opryland right and they were in trouble and I think there for 5 feet under water armor that very well.

How did your family reacted that there Nashville well several ways that the most interesting is that in our first year of moving to Nashville. We had to move three times and so we are having a little pity party honestly and that was the year before the fly like why is it so hard wasn't where we supposed to move to Nashville. Well, it turns out that we ended up in an apartment called Hill meat literally on a hill. The two previous houses or apartments we lived and were flooded and so that was a great lesson even for our kids that it three and five at the time to say, look, God knows what we don't always know but then with these preschoolers I thought will. How can I help you know after we were able to get out and on the roads. After a few days. What can I do with these little kids in tow. And so, talking about modeling.

I just drove to our church because I'm a I'm a frugal girl so I had quite the stockpile of cleaning supplies and toilet paper and things that people need excited lost everything and I drove to the church and I dropped it off and I couldn't stop there, but I said well you do need anything else with me in my minivan and this actually is. We need the supplies to be taken to Ground Zero as we called it, and we need you to shuttle back and forth between what was a auxiliary campus in our main campus over the next couple days. I did that and again we were tearing down drywall or doing anything major but it was a need that needed to be met and so often, especially for kids. If you have time.

I don't have no money I don't have my own stuff to donate. If you take the time to say let's get what you have and let's do it now.

What does that mean thinking Sammy with the young kids like you started earlier modeled regularly and so as they become, 11, 12, 13, they have a little more understanding of what about the parents that have no 13 1415-year-old and maybe you know they haven't done a great job in this area. The busy life is busy. We've run along everybody's got their phone or whatever come into our garage were going.

We quickly make dinner. We clean the house separately or together and were generally good Christian family. We just haven't done this another 15-year-old going home a lot I want to go volunteer down there at the soup kitchen right.

Come on crayon. How do you with slightly older children begin to reorient them to these good things to become more selfish right to things that I will say that I hope everyone pays attention to number one start at home.

What is your family want to be known for. You can do that tonight around the dinner table. If your faith.

You've got a military family, get on Skype. Whatever it is, ask what do you want our family to be known for. Have everyone's throughout three characteristics and create a family mission statement from that because how can you again. Give what you don't have. So start there and say whatever means I don't care if you turn it potty train a child of you getting Ray to send them off to college, you have to focus on one thing at a time right.

Don't try to put all 12 characteristics into effect in one day.

So what we want our family to be known for it. Why do we want to focus on today that step number one number two is find out what moves your kids a little bit what we are talking about before. If you see them on social media all day and stuffs dealing the phone away from them. Say you know what to do an experiment right this is a pun, experiment, and for the next week I want you to only post on Instagram or Snapchat or whatever the kids are using these days about a charity that you can help because organizations are just fraught with ways.

If you use this hashtag will donate a dollar to a child in need or pay cut you no compassion or at operation Christmas child and post pictures of kids so use where they are to help them you know if they love like I said they love the sport.

Let's organize it a pickup game in the community and just say were to be here at this time and let's offer to go pick up the kids from the YMCA or whatever it is, be present to understand what it is that moves your child and equip them so they can help others in need.

That's a great piece of advice. Let me ask you about the mission trip.

We just got back from the first daily family big mission trip in Africa and it was terrific.

We went with an orphanage group there and they run schools, and it was really great for the kids to see a different part of the world courses Africa. I think the impact will be lifelong for them but talk about the need to introduce your kids and what would be the right age to go on the family mission trip right well I think that's great that you went to Africa, but let me say there's a need next door. There's a need everywhere. Sometimes where you don't expect there to be a need, you know, I found there's a little community garden where we just moved into that. I'll try gardening. This is great. Will turns out it's for refugees for these families that have been displaced so immediately. Most of the mission field, literally, figuratively eight houses down from us and so we take that will be called the mainland mission trip to a small town in Kentucky and I did not the best attitude.

I was content sending school backpack on the letter. I mean I'm speaking I wrote this because I need this this is that I got it all figured out. I mean I think if you read the book, you'll see, is it fraught with my failures but we realize that we could actually instead of just giving the the backpack to the guests which is what we had been doing, we can have to go hand deliver them to the kids ourselves and I think you'll find there's more opportunities, even if it's not within your church looking your community to see where can we actually do something like this. So we drove the eight hours to know the state just north of us to be able to do that we slept on Jim with no air conditioning in on the floor that jam and we ate some strange lunchmeat for a while but you know what we were there. And it's funny. We talk about kids needing to know everything. My daughter was appalled because I was assigned the facepainting duty anxious to know if you don't have that she's an artist she's really good at and she was the most gracious of you have got to tell them you cannot do this like I was really like one over there had to shop so I know in my life was pretty long.

I I like to say from the facepainting.

How many basketball face paint like I want the Kentucky wildcat is like we're gonna have to be a little bit about about that heart but I just said sure, but I that was that's why she was Mexican thing. Sure, everyone.

I just don't know they can't see it on the face and she stood back and he said Karen just just be. Just look at observing and playing with just a girl one girl and they might think well maybe she wasn't doing as much as it was just one child, but it meant a lot to that one child and so you're right. When we do missions trip. It's really not as much for the people that were helping as it is for us to see how that we can put our own needs, whereas the big benefit your children learn.

I think that when you do if you feel better.

There's something that you gain which I think is much more than what you give right and it helps you spiritually in a big way. Let me ask you this. This is a funny story. So, in your book you talk about creating the yesterday literally last night and looking your reading through the book material and I say to my boys at the dinner table. Would you guys like to have it yesterday yesterday so you want to. That's unfair and they just went off in a setting I think you guys are missing the point. This is the yes they were.

Mom and I need to say yesterday what oh yeah thought I told you so that was, probably a selfish indicator is again it's just what you doing to shake up the routine again this is insolence to last forever, but as parents right were supposed to be turning this matter on ourselves of the yesterday I get is really more for us. The kids think it's fine.

But as I can to scar them for life was in a change of no but for you as a parent I think what it did for me is that it help me realize how many times I was saying no and when you hear that over and over again as a child and makes you resentful and it just makes you harbor bitterness honestly and so if you can take a day and again will make it a major schoolday or anything.

A day on a weekend and we had few parameters you know they can ask for million dollars, or it was kind like the genie which is right.

You can't hurt anyone and you can't do anything crazy but it just taught me to St. while these things I would normally say no or not now to like playing outsider aching you know waffles for dinner or just eat the surprise at the simple request that your kids have that we just learn to say no to. And so, again, training yourself as a parent to be open to what's not typically in front of him will you purposeful, great ideas, raising uncommon kids 12 biblical traits you need to raise selfless kids. Sammy, this is terrific. Let me just wrap this with the Scripture because it hits me in Philippians there and I think the subcontractor do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, rather, in humility value others above yourselves and that's what you talking about how to train your children to do exactly what the Scripture say; someone to have such a joy to help a conversation that Scripture in Philippians is so key to raising her children to think outside of themselves to good reminder for us as well as and let me just remind you, the Focus on the Family is here for you want to help you be the best parent you can be and find the resources you need to raise your children lovingly and with truth. One of the ways that we can serve you is through our livid challenge which provides monthly activities to help your kids build their faith and strength of their relationship with Christ. Also we have Sammy's book, raising uncommon kids which is a fantastic resource to help you teach your children positive behaviors and attitudes based on Scripture, only to make a monthly gift or one-time gift of any amount and will say thank you for joining the supporting and enabling Focus on the Family to continue in our work by sending a copy of Sammy's book, raising uncommon kids donate the book.

Check out our livid challenge all the details are in the program notes or call 880 family on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team.

Thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back is once again hope you and your family thrive in Christ you ever wonder what it was like to meet Jesus face-to-face the miracle the teachings, the long-awaited Messiah flash all new novel by Focus on the Family called and chosen. I have called you by name.

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