*The Mixing Bowl received product or payment in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may differ from yours.*
As parents it is our job to teach our children to be appropriate citizens and good Christians in our world. Yes, it’s true that the bias and prejudice of the parents tend to be taught to children just by simple day to day interaction. Good parents put aside their own bias to improve the lives of their children. I am going to do a series on these prejudices and some ways to help our kids look past our bias and live a more fulling, Christian life. This is the first installment of prejudices.
For this post I want to talk about the prejudice of helping others. We see people everyday in our lives that need help: both physically and emotionally. It’s how we react to those people that shape our lives and our kids. I live in a town where we don’t see many homeless people but as soon as you head to Detroit they are everywhere it seems. Growing up and heading to Detroit meant locking your doors and not staring at the people on the side of the road. Was it out of fear? Maybe. It could have been one of hundreds of reasons my parents felt this was the appropriate response. To this day I find myself doing the same thing. And now there is a disabled person who hangs out in the parking lot of a local store. I seem to always be late or too busy to stop and help. Too busy! Really. The truth is that I feel uncomfortable helping for some reason. I do not like this about myself but it’s true. I want my kids to want to help, to offer their time and available resources. Be a good Christian and help our neighbors in need.
There have been many documentaries on this throughout the years wherea TV station stages an assault on a busy street just to see if anyone would stop and help. 9.5 times out of 10 no one stops to help. This is a neighbor in need and yet we just walk by. This is unfair to the person in need and our faith. Yet, most of think that we do help others in need. Truth is we only help when it’s convenient and safe for us. We as adults do not feel it is our place to intervene when that is when we should intervene the most. How do we teach our kids to step in and help. This is one of the hardest thing a parent should be teaching their kids. How do you show your kids that being a good Samaritan is the right thing to do?
Besides our actions and having our kids see that we take the time and energy to help our neighbors in need, books and movies that show this point is a great way to start teaching kids. But, you can rely solely on books and movies. Your actions are the most important! If you are looking for a good book though I would suggest THEO: The Good Rat. In this book a shrew is attacked by a group of weasels trying to steal from him. He is hurt pretty bad and left on the side of a busy road. Not long after, two mice come by and decide they can not stop because they will be late for their big game and leaves the shrew. Not long after a hedgehog comes by the hurt shrew and she does not stop because she is late for the market to sell her knitting. All three passed by with the expressed thought that someone else would be by soon because it was a busy road and would have the time to stop and help. Isn’t that how we approach some of the same situations? No worries, someone else will be by to help out. Finally, a good rat stopped by and opted to miss an important interview that could boost his way of life to help the hurt shrew. He selflessly gave up his time to help and be a good neighbor. He saved the shrews life when no one else would stop.
Don’t be like the people passing by and think someone else will do it. Show your kids that helping is the right thing to do and step away from our own prejudices. Be a good neighbor as God instructs us to do and show our kids a better way. I hope this makes you stop and think next time you see a person needing help. We may not be comfortable doing it but it is the right thing to do and our kids need to see that to better the next generation.
You can find THEO: The Good Rat here at Family Christian. This is the first book of a new series for kids! I loved the simple yet powerful message that this book showed and how perfect the message was to start off this blog series. It’s hard for us to give up what we think is important to help others but it’s important that we do and are good Samaritans in our own lives.
Photo courtesy of morguefile. See my full disclosure policy here.