Many of the blogs I read take a "word" or a "phrase" for the year. I love the simplicity of it, so for 2013 our "phrase" is "BE KIND". It goes along well with our "Family Motto". During Christmas I had gotten SO fed up with the "Green-eyed Gimmies" I was completely disgusted and felt like I was failing to teach my children to think of others.
As I have written before, kids just love things when you get all fancy-pants and make a big deal about them. A jacket with butterflies on it is transformed when a certain little girl is called "Our Lady of the Butterflies" when she wears it. A double-wide where we spend a week each summer is a bit more magical when called "Our Summer Home". So in the spirit of it all, I have really taken "Be Kind" and run with it.
I had a big "Family Meeting" about the phrase and
...ordered this print for the living room.
I know the Bible says that if you tell others about kind deeds then they don't really "count", but I like to think that he gives us a little wiggle room when we are teaching children. Children are NOT born kind...they need lots of help! They need examples of what it means to be kind. They need confessions from us about times when we have not been kind and we are sorry.
We are ALL born so selfish and we have to suppress selfishness our whole lives. Sharing out loud is teaching them so much about what kind "looks like". We have had some great discussions about what kindness is. Basically something that you don't HAVE to do, and something you have not been ASKED to do, but you do because you know it would make someone feel loved.
So in the month of January we began sharing each night at supper one kind thing we did each day...Outside The Home. We talked about how we do our best recognize and practice kind acts within our home so we can take kindness out into the world! The incentive was candy (A Hershey Kiss...and now two Skittles), of course - I always find candy to be a fabulous incentive.
I want to share with y'all how amazing this "phrase" business has been after just one month! What I love is that once I got the ball rolling, they have run with it.
-The second we are all at the table, after the blessing, they are SO excited to share what they have done kind that day...and hear our examples. It has really changed our whole dinner focus.
-Betsy suggested a couple weeks in. "How about we do two things kind for a Kiss?...Sure!
-Jay suggested that we write our kindness acts down and see if we can get to 100 and when we get to 100 we can do a fun family activity...Sure!
So already our goals have grown and right before my eyes my children...actually all of us...are changing our "mirrors" to "windows" and seeing the world differently.