Children quickly learn that they want their own way. They need parents to help them move from the natural baby state of shouting his or her own needs to the spiritually mature attitude of serving other people.
Meanwhile, parents long for the day when their children obey this teaching from Philippians:
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit,
but with humility consider one
another as more important than yourselves;
do not merely look out
for your own personal interests,
but also for the interests of others.
Philippians 2:3-4 NASB
Teaching our children to be concerned for others is one of our highest priorities as Christian parents. Homeschooling gives us opportunities to teach our children to love others and gives them opportunities to show it in concrete ways. They can serve by entertaining a younger sibling so Mom can take a nap, by carrying a meal to a sick neighbor, by cleaning the toys in the church nursery, by writing a letter to a grandparent, or helping Mama in the kitchen.
Thinking about ourselves and our needs and wants while not thinking about the needs and wants of others is a temptation at every age. The childhood and teen years are the years when we need to teach our children to think about other people, to be sensitive to their needs, and to serve them. Some will say that it is natural for teenagers to want to be with people their own ages. Yes, it is natural then, but I think it is natural at almost any age. Just because it is natural doesn’t mean it is okay for it to be all-consuming.
Jesus modeled humble service when He washed His disciples’ feet. By serving, your children show Jesus to every heart that is open to His light: grandparents, neighbors, church members, and others.