How do you turn a self-absorbed child into a generous one? Rabbi Shmuley says there are two things every parent can do, starting in a child's formative years, to help him or her become a better, less self-centered person:
- Give inspirational talks. Talk to your child often about the importance of being a good person, Rabbi Shmuley says. "Being a good person means doing good things—it doesn't mean having a good heart," he says. "A good heart is worthless if you don't have good hands. The heart is supposed to inspire generous action."
- Lead by example. Model generous behavior, Rabbi Shumley says. Whether it's donating your time to charity or handing out dollar bills to homeless people, Rabbi Shmuley says you need to perform generous acts that your children can emulate. "We are placed on this earth to give people dignity, to make them feel like they are special," he says. "That is what generosity is. It's about making people feel like they matter."
"Generosity in children is created through motivational speeches and through parents modeling altruistic action. We should raise our kids not only to have kind hearts, but especially kind hands. You've got to get them to do good things, and they will become good people."