Our children need to be Involved
Hospitality is when we care for the needs of others. Needs can be physical, emotional or spiritual, though at times we tend to focus more on the physical needs. Seeing and acting on these needs is foundational as we teach our children to be others focused.
Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, or friendship with others
~ Character First
Practicing hospitality in our homes is a training ground for our children. They will learn the heart of hospitality as well as the art (the skills). When we invite people into our homes we are recognising their needs, and are making ourselves: our home, our time, our food and our love available to meet the needs of others. When we involve our children in this they are learning to care for other people.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;
in honour preferring one another;
Not slothful in business;
fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation;
continuing instant in prayer;
Distributing to the necessity of saints;
given to hospitality.
Things that happen in our home:
- Before guests arrive the children can help prepare for them. They can help cook food, clean the house, prepare games to play, set the table or set up the guest room. Jess has been responsible for the guest room for the last couple of years. She delights in making it just right for whoever is coming to stay.
- Children can be a greeting party. Our children have established a habit of watching for our guests to arrive. They call it a ‘car watch’. The first thing most of our visitors see are the children waiting eagerly for them, waving and then helping them bring their things into the house.
- Children can offer drinks. I read in many ‘manners’ books that hats/coats need to be taken from guests but since we live in the tropics that just doesn’t happen! Drinks are always appreciated.
- I encourage my children to have a conversation with our visitors. Often they just want to go and play and yet it is not only manners but it is good conversation practice to stay a bit and talk to our guests (then they go and play).
- Our children are responsible for making our children-guests comfortable. They often think of games to play or conversations to have before new friends arrive. They show them the bathroom and offer food and drink.
- Table manners – there is so much to say about table manners! It is easy to let manners slide as we enjoy family laughter and conversation around the dinner table and then be terribly embarrassed when we have guests. We don’t need to be stuffy, and prim and proper to enjoy manners. Manners are simply the behaviour that respects another person. Our family meal table is a good place to practice.
- Even when we meet the emotional and spiritual needs of people around us our children can be involved – they may not be sitting at the table hearing our guest pour out their concerns, but by our children helping us prepare for these people to come into our home they are helping, it maybe indirectly but helping nonetheless to minister to the needs of others whether it be emotional, spiritual or physical. It becomes a family-team thing.
Live life with your kids!
Character Notes - Hospitality
Character Notes - to read about other traits
Lifestyle Homeschool Home Page