Developing a Habit of Paying Attention to Others’ Needs

others-needs

Our focus this month will be on noticing the needs of others and how those needs could be met. While there will be some needs that the boys will be able to help meet the idea is more that they exercise the ability to pay attention and see others’ needs.

I discovered a new {to me} book this past month called Teaching Your Children Values by Linda and Richard Eyre and was thrilled to discover it so closely mimics what I am trying to do with the boys. They have 12 values with ideas, games and other encouraging ideas for helping to reinforce it in your family. I gleaned a lot from reading it and some of their ideas have been worked into our plan for this month.

Intentionally nurturing good habits in our children takes time and effort. I passionately believe this is so worthwhile! Equally so – it should not be a heavy weight and another thing on the “to-do” list. Good habits are best lived out, and while we will always be learning along side our own children, our extra years on earth lend some experiences and lessons we can share with our children. While I have mapped out activities to do each day of the month that will direct our attention towards the subject of paying attention, please do fill it in with your own experiences to share of yourself with your children.
The following activities are meant to be simple, short and repetitive. I don’t imagine them taking more than five minutes a day. My hope is that through simplicity, faithfulness and focus the habit of paying attention to others’ needs will be deeply rooted in their foundation.intentionally nurturing good habits in our children

Pay Attention to Others’ Needs
Activities are broken down into simple activities to be done each day.

1. Discuss what it means to pay attention to others needs or to not pay attention to them.

2.  Be super spies! Spend the day noticing other peoples needs and at bedtime report the list of needs seen and note any where you were able to help.

3. Make up stories about people in different situations (mailman on a hot day, old lady next door struggling to carry her groceries into the house, etc.) and have the boys come up with ideas on how they could help in such scenarios.

4. Play the “Noticing Game.” At random moments throughout the day ask the boys to close their eyes and tell me things that they would see if their eyes were open. Just a silly, fun way to reinforce the idea of paying attention to your surroundings.

5. Secret Buddy day. In the morning I will discretely tell each boy that they are to pay attention to the other ones needs and help each other out, without the other ever knowing what they are doing.

6. Read James 5:11 and talk about how Jesus showed compassion to people.

7. Make a special effort to pay attention to my own boys and praise their efforts in helping others.

8. Look through images of people {either from magazines or online} and have the boys imagine what those peoples needs are based on the image.

9. Be super spies! Spend the day noticing other peoples needs and at bedtime report the list of needs seen and note any where you were able to help.

10. Memorize/review; “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

11. Play “Guess Who” box game.

12. “Funny Dinner Night” – I will call everyone to dinner but will have “forgotten” some major items that we need for dinner – ie. Paul’s fork, serving spoons, condiments, water pitcher, etc. The boys need to notice the needs and go get the missing items.

13. Read Lamentations 3:22&23 and come up with more stories of how Jesus showed compassion to people.

14. Make a special effort to pay attention to my own boys and praise their efforts in helping others.

15. Make up stories about people in different situations (mailman on a hot day, old lady next door struggling to carry her groceries into the house, etc.) and have the boys come up with ideas on how they could help in such scenarios.

16. Be super spies! Spend the day noticing other peoples needs and at bedtime report the list of needs seen and note any where you were able to help.

17. Memorize/review; “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

18. Play the “Noticing Game.” At random moments throughout the day ask the boys to close their eyes and tell me things that they would see if their eyes were open. Just a silly, fun way to reinforce the idea of paying attention to your surroundings.

19. Secret Buddy day. In the morning I will discretely tell each boy that they are to pay attention to the other ones needs and help each other out, without the other ever knowing what they are doing. (Depending on how this goes on the 5th I may assign them both the task of paying attention to Paul’s needs rather than to each other again.)

20. Read the story of The Prodigal Son.

21. Make a special effort to pay attention to my own boys and praise their efforts in helping others.

22. Look through images of people {either from magazines or online} and have the boys imagine what those peoples needs are based on the image.

23. Be super spies! Spend the day noticing other peoples needs and at bedtime report the list of needs seen and note any where you were able to help.

24. Memorize/review; “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

25. Play “Guess Who” box game.

26.  “Funny Dinner Night” – I will call everyone to dinner but will have “forgotten” some major items that we need for dinner – ie. Paul’s fork, serving spoons, condiments, water pitcher, etc. The boys need to notice the needs and go get the missing items.

27. Read the story of The Good Samaritan.

28. Make a special effort to pay attention to my own boys and praise their efforts in helping others.

29. Make up stories about people in different situations (mailman on a hot day, old lady next door struggling to carry her groceries into the house, etc.) and have the boys come up with ideas on how they could help in such scenarios.

30. Be super spies! Spend the day noticing other peoples needs and at bedtime report the list of needs seen and note any where you were able to help.

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