Come January 1st, we're given a clean slate and a new year of hope. That power to start anew makes some people drunk with possibilities. They make changes they truly plan to keep, but somehow don't. Personally, I'm using a word to be the inspiration for my year. (Though goodness knows, there are days I'm nowhere close, but I'm trying.) When it comes to my three little kids, I decided to help them make a change, too. And we're sticking to it!
While we always do our best to sit together at the dinner table and talk, I was finding that the conversation was scattered. It would either be about negative things that had happened during the day, or one kid would talk over another and it would turn into a fight.
Now each night, we take turns talking about one good thing that happened to us that day. Usually, it starts a chain reaction. My four-year old likes to keep coming up with more. My six-year old, still a bit resistant to my game, usually quits at one. But the magic is, he continues to sit and listen -- without talking over people -- as we talk about ours.
After we're done with dinner, I write down what they've said (in as close to their wording as possible), and stick it in a jar.
There was one day that things leading up to dinner were a disaster. My 6-year old was sure there wasn't one single good thing that happened to him -- all day long. The conversation wasn't particularly friendly, but it was powerful. I was able to list everything from waking up, to having clothes to wear, to going to a school filled with friends, to having a brother and sister to fight with, to having food to eat at the dinner table, and on and on. It was a reminder that good things happen at almost every moment of our day. Even on the bad ones.
Yes, this jar may not look like much of an accomplishment. But I'm hoping that by the end of the year, we gain a few pounds -- in gratitude. And come 2014, we'll be able to literally count our blessings and adventures from a great year gone by.
Did your family make a group resolution? What was it?
Amy is a Yahoo! Shine Parenting Guru. You can read more from her at her slice-of-life parenting blog, Using Our Words. Since you won't want to miss a post, you can like her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter.