Opportunity is defined as a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. When we think of opportunity, most of us imagine a chance for advancement, personal gain or success. We want our children to learn that a quality education and a strong work ethic will enable them to be ready when the right opportunities present themselves. Although this is true and important, opportunity can be so much more. Instead of only looking for opportunities that benefit ourselves, we can teach our kids to also look for circumstances that make it possible for them to be a benefit to others.
This story features a local family from Rowlett that answered opportunity’s knock, not once, but three times through the miracle of adoption. Their most recent adoption was a surprise to their 11 and 6-year-old daughters, whose priceless reaction was captured on video. The joy and excitement on their faces are heartwarming.
One of my favorite quotes, written by author Katie Davis says this,
Every day, we have a choice. We can stay nestled in our safe comfortable places…we can let fear of something that really is small compared to the greatness of God cripple us. Or we can take a risk, do something to help someone else, make a person smile, change someone’s world. Life to the fullest exists. It’s available. All we have to do is decide to get up and embrace it.”
While we teach our children the importance of being prepared for opportunities that come their way, it is equally important to model for our children the joy of looking for opportunities to help others. Modeling selfless acts such as kindness, compassion, sacrifice, and love (and as moms, we certainly do this daily!), teach our children how to make a positive lasting impact in the world. In doing so, we raise a generation that values generosity and genuine concern for others and as a result, we can all enjoy living in a much kinder and gentler world.
I interviewed Kasi, the mother of this beautiful family, and asked her to share practical ideas for teaching kids about kindness and compassion.
- Provide opportunities for your children to be around kids who are different than them. For Kasi, it is important for her kids to see and be around children who come from different backgrounds, races, religions.
- Provide opportunities for your children to serve others. She looks for opportunities for her children to serve in food pantries, serve at events for people with special needs (one of their children has special needs as well), and serve teen mommas and their babies. Kasi serves in a ministry called Younglives which serves teen mom’s and their babies. She gets her kids involved by allowing them opportunities to play and serve with all the kids and babies. It teaches them a lot about compassion and loving others.
- Read books that deal with kindness, compassion, and real life stories of others. Kasi shared that she loves to read books that talk about loving others and being kind. It opens up great conversations about how to be kind and care for other people.
I also asked Kasi to share a couple of family activities that teach about compassion.
“Every year we do Operation Christmas Child with Samaritan’s Purse. This is a great ministry that provides you the opportunity to fill a shoe box full of things for a kiddo and ship it all over the world. You can track your package and see where it ends up. We do a box for each of our kiddos and let them pick out what goes into it. They get excited every year to do this and it is a great chance to talk to them about what kiddos in other parts of the world face”.
Congratulations to this Dallas mom and her family on their new bundle of joy!