The Heart of Honesty
When ever I speak on building character in one’s children, my home evolves into one mad science lab where my children squeak like guinea pigs, and I am the wicked scientist whose head detaches itself multiple times during the course of the week.
This was one of those weeks, and without fail, we had a few of those moments (hmm…I think I call them bedlam moments).
Less you think I didn’t share them with the ladies that I spoke to…..I did…..since October’s family virtue is honesty, how horrible would that be if I didn’t share from the heart. 🙂
As I have mentioned before, our family focuses on one specific character quality a month. I realized that I have been lax in bringing some hands on activities for you to implement with your own family. I love to refer to them as “tools of intentionality.”
These are for all the blogless moms that will be visiting in the next few days…do I dare suck them into this new world?
These are just a sampling of things that our family does..sometimes oh, so excellently, and sometimes..yep…sheer bedlam. My hope is that they can be a helpful jumping off point in furthering the character development within your family tapestry.
Please don’t get overwhelmed. It only takes one simple tradition executed purposefully to create those memory moments that one desires for their home.
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” Thomas
Many of us are honest with others but not always honest with ourselves, or how we represent ourselves to other people. We are afraid that if we reveal how we really think or feel, others will not like us. Since authenticity (being true to who are) is the foundation for all good relationships, this is one of those important life lessons that will impact your child’s happiness throughout their lifetime.
We need to teach the little people in our lives that it is okay to express their true feelings, as long as they do it in respectful and constructive ways. Young children naturally say
what they feel and think, but they learn early in life that many emotions are “bad,” so they begin to lie in order to hide those “bad” feelings.
We mustn’t forget that we cannot always control our feelings. They come and they go.
We can, however, control our behavior, and we can CHOOSE how we respond. Make it clear to your children that no one else “makes” them behave in a certain way.
How they behave is their own choice and responsibility, no one else’s. As they express themselves, use this as a precious opportunity to dig into their heart, and begin meaningful conversations about what the root of their “feelings” are. With my younger one, quite often the “I want this” response comes to light.
What a wonderful time to begin directing them back to the abundance of things we can choose to be grateful for. Focus on the little – everyday things that they may miss in cultivating this heart of gratitude. Just a few things off the top of my head might be the way the sun pokes through the clouds creating a rainbow of interesting colors, the smell of clothes after they have been washed (seriously – have them smell the laundry and then compare them to my boys’ football uniforms.), the bird’s that sing so sweetly on your walk through the neighborhood, and most importantly, the glorious sound and smell of the coffee pot as it welcomes a new day…oh, right…this is for the kids…sorry. 🙂
The attitude of Gratitude, even in the midst of disappointing situations, is a key focus area in our kids, and we keep a Gratitude Journal. And yep…Gratitude is our November virtue, so I can’t wait to share more. 🙂 The next few weeks….Honesty…and I can’t wait to hear some of your stories.
If you desire some additional ideas for the month, this post continues at my sorely neglected home school blog – Teaching Classically.