Three-Part Service: In, From, and Outside the Home via @BoyRaisers
Have you read Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys? I’m reading through some sections again because it is SO good and so right on about how my boys are and what they need.

This week, I was focusing on the chapter called The Lover which covers the ages of five to eight, when boys become more relationally oriented. My eldest is six and I’m needing some help figuring out how to best connect with him. This book has been just the help for which I was looking!

One of the tips shared by the authors, Stephen James and David Thomas, jumped out at me as we’re focusing on service this month…

Focus him outward: The Lover stage is the time to introduce community service/outreach/volunteering in a boy’s life. Show him that generosity and service are a vital part of what you want to be about as a family. When he reaches adolescence, he will desperately need opportunities to get outside of himself; so, by teaching him to regularly serve others during this stage, you will have laid a foundation for this type of experience, and it will be familiar to him later. {Wild Things, p. 42-43}

Let’s talk about three ways you can start making your family about service and laying that foundation now.

  1. IN your home.

    That’s right — you don’t even need to leave your house to get this service thing going! Talk to each of your children individually and decide how each one could serve someone else in the family this week. Figure out something they wouldn’t normally do,like cleaning up everyone’s toys at the end of the day or making a special snack for Dad.

  2. FROM your home.

    This type of service starts and home and moves outward. Several times a year, we purge clothes and toys. We often get the boys involved with cleaning out their toys and deciding which toys they want to give to children who are without. Then, we go to the city mission together to drop them off! The boys have also helped me make a meal or baked goods for a family in need and gone with me to drop off the food.

  3. OUTSIDE your home.

    These are the types of projects most people think of when you mention volunteering. They can also be the hardest to make happen with busy schedules and/or young children. Start out simple! Visit a nursing home on a random day for no special reason other than to make the residents smile! Help with a neighborhood clean-up or start your own! Find something in your area that combines service and the strengths or talents you already see in your boys, such as music, carpentry, or magic!

Which of these areas will you pick to do with your boys this coming month? Share your plans here and let’s inspire one another!