Month in Review
Another month has flown by!! Can you believe we are already hitting October. Big box stores not only have Halloween decorations out, they also have Christmas decorations out. Before you can blink again, 2014 will be over and we will be headlong into a new year.
I want to encourage you to take the time at the end of each month and review how you did, not only as a parent but also as a family. Get the kids involved and have them participate in deciding how they will feel about the month that just passed and how they will show up for the next month.
Implement a family celebration dinner and look back at all the things that went right for your family. Did you have a fun movie night that everyone watched (put the smartphones away and actually watch the whole movie)? Did you cook a meal that everyone loved? Did you have a sports win? How about awesome grades? Had a day filled with green lights? Even small things are worth celebrating so get everyone involved in remembering the best things about the month.
Go around the dinner table and ask everyone to share one thing awesome about the month. What made the event awesome? How can they be sure to have the same awesome experience in the coming month?
Ask everyone one thing to be mindful of the next month. Maybe it’s getting to bed on time, or eating more home cooked meals. Perhaps it’s saying thank you or please. It doesn’t matter what the item is, as long as we are teaching our kids to be aware of the things they want to do better at.
Decide on a family goal for the month. Everyone home for dinner at least 3 nights per week? No dirty laundry at the end of the week? Walk the dog every day? Simple goal that everyone is invested in and willing to participate in.
What’s a personal goal for each person? Getting to the gym more often? Getting to bed earlier? Drinking less coffee? Maybe it’s getting a good grade on a math test for the kids. Ask everyone to choose something they will reach for the following month.
Last but not least, choose to do one thing that fills you up. Something that can be considered a luxury. Maybe it’s reading a book in bed for 15 minutes on a Sunday morning. You may choose to go to a movie at the theatre one night as a family. Maybe it’s bake cookies with your youngest. You decide what you want to do JUST for you! Each member chooses something and the whole family sets out to make sure everyone feels pampered at least once in the month.
We need to be teaching our kids that life is about celebrations! Sure there will be tough times, but why focus on those when we can rally to lift everyone up, rather than worrying about the should have’s and what if’s.
Focus on the things that enhance our lives rather than frustrate us and make us feel like we just missed the mark. Celebrate sports wins, leisure time, arts and entertainment moments, reading great books, spiritual growth, emotional strengths. Choose to focus on the good things and things you want more of.
Here are some great conversation starters for around the dinner table:
“If I could do anything….”
“The best day would be….”
“If I had all the money I wanted I would….”
“The thing that makes me feel the best….”
These critical thinking exercises are good for family bonding and brain development. Kids can be creative and parents can give themselves credit for the small wins. It contributes the family spirit and builds everyone up.
What do you do each month to bond as a family? Do you have special traditions? I would love to hear what you do to keep your family feeling like they are special.