Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Teaching Kids to Give

We watched a cartoon version of A Christmas Carol (you know the movie with Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim) with the kids tonight and they were glued to it the whole time, full of questions during the movie -- "Which one is the mean guy? Why is he so mean? Will he turn good at the end?"

At one point during the middle of the movie I asked my 7 year old, "Would you rather have a big house and a lot of money and be all by yourself, or live in a small house with very little money, but family around?" His answer, "The small house with other people!"

My husband and I hoped the moral would have an impact. But, we were skeptical when my 3 year pondered for a moment at the movie's end and as the credits rolled, declared very seriously, "I NEED MORE COINS IN MY BANK!"

We laughed at the hilariousness of it, but told him the movie was not about getting more for yourself, but sharing what you do have with others.

He ignored us and went on to explain, "But I have only one coin in my bank."

And, it was true, he did indeed only have one coin, because he crawled up to the high shelf on the bookcase and emptied the contents of his bank one too many times, not to spend the money, but just to play with, and it got lost (likely gathered up by his brother and sister and deposited into
their banks!).

I had just decided he was too young for the bank my mom had given him anyway and so let it sit with it's one coin for months now.

But, as we shooed the kids up the stairs to their beds after the movie, I turned back to the kitchen and reached into the coin jar grabbing a handful of pennies and nickles. I called my littlest son back and and handed him the coins, telling him, "Now you have more for your bank." He couldn't wait to get it into his bank! Then my older two children wanted to get their rather full banks down off the shelves. I wasn't really sure why they wanted their banks down except maybe to lord over their little brother that they still had more than he did.

But, as I helped my 3 year old get the coins I'd given him into his bank, they came, first my 7 year old gave his little brother one of his shiny gold coins, then my daughter came with a few coins, and quickly returned with a handful more for her little brother.

At one point, my 3 year old asked his sister, "Why are you giving me this?"

And her answer, "Because I have so much."

Find more Wordful Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, and Not So Wordless Wednesday.


  1. wow, I actually got teary-eyed reading your post! I love the way their minds work and I'm so glad to see that they understood the concept behind the movie...great job, mom!

  2. Awwww....well, the big sibs got the point, didn't they?

  3. Such a sweet post :) Thanks for sharing dear!

  4. What a great post! Thanks for sharing!!

    Merry Christmas!!


  5. Oh my. This brought tears to my eyes. So wonderful when your children 'get' what you are trying to teach!

  6. This brought me to tears as well...how wonderful is it when they "get it"...

    Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family. Thank you for letting me have little glimpses into your life and sharing in your fun and joy. What a wonderful mama you are. May He richly bless you all in this coming year...

    Hugs, Debbie

  7. Kids are so sweet and inspirational sometimes. Makes me want to get out their banks and empty them right into mine. Or other way around I guess:)


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