Archive for the ‘family home evening ideas’ Category

Entitlement VS Gratitude

February 2, 2010
Tween ‘Tude
An extra dose of Gratitude, thanks.

Goodncrazy Tween Talk superhero girl

Weve been noticing a new vein of ‘tude in our Tween.
A whole lot of:

  • Why are we doing that?
  • My after school party starts in an hour, who’s taking me?
  • I have 7 classes every day, my life is SO hard!

Note the lack of please/thank you and general aura of entitlement.

I’m reading a parenting book about the entitlement factor among children (and all Americans really). How they (we?) need a shot in the arm, a vaccination, of good old fashioned humility and appreciation. “I deserve this.” “I should get more.”

The antidote the book suggests?

Last weekend SuperTween needed a few pairs of casual pants. She’s literally growing before our eyes, several pairs of her jeans are ready for the Ark.

We drove to Kohl’s and chose a pair of khaki pants, but couldn’t find jeans for tall-for-her-age super skinny 12yrold, Size: ZERO. And next…( apparently I failed at communication the next few minutes…) because everyone else understood that our next stop on the Tween shopping express was Target; to buy her one more pair.

I Kid You Not.

Out of her mouth:

“Why? Why are we going to Another store?”

What I heard:

“Do we really HAVE to? All of us? Haven’t we been shopping long enough? Why do we have to go to another store? I’m so bored. Sassy and TK are totally annoying me. Me Me Me Me….”

I basically pulled out the wicked witch of the west mom mask, and well, LOST it. Are you serious? We drove over the mountain to shop specifically for you. And you’ve hit your Saturday patience level after one store?

Needless to say the rest of the day went to crap.

That weekend I talked with my husband about how to cure this entitlement virus and prevent it from infecting her any further. And just how contagious is it? Will it spread to the younger siblings?

I kept reading my parenting book, hoping for some insight. And I swear every talk and lesson in church that Sunday mentioned blessings and the benefits of expressing gratitude.

Monday night instead of Family Home Evening, I asked everyone to play a few rounds of a new game we just received called: Count Your Blessings. It’s a game created out of the inspired brainpower of the @Gratitweets women: Laura Robinson and Elizabeth Bryan along with the Chicken Soup for the Soul book of the same name.

Yes. SuperTween complained and slouch-pouted in the corner chair. However. After less than one round of:

PhotobucketFlick the spinner.
PhotobucketRead a situation card from one of the five decks (they present a dilemma, or predicament).
PhotobucketProblem solve as a family.

She couldn’t help herself. She was drawn in, participating and answering alongside the family immediately.

goodncrazy blue dots

Examples and family responses:

Category: Look On The Bright Side
“Share something difficult that’s happened to you that relates to life. And then share how you looked on the bright side.”

Sassy 9yrold: I broke my leg when I was four… people felt bad so they gave me presents.
TK 5yrold: I broke my arm last summer… everyone thought I was so cool on the first day of Kindergarten!
Dad: When I was 15, I was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes… I eat better now, watch my sweets and value my life more.
SuperTween: In the spelling bee in 5th grade I won the whole grade, but later after a dad bullied the teacher the kid who got out just before me got a ‘second chance’… he ended up winning the next round and later they called it a ‘Tie’… I learned that sometimes it’s more important to know you worked hard and did well no matter what the public story is.

Category: Count Your Blessings
“Give the group 2 reasons you are grateful for the player with the largest feet.”

TK: I love his hugs and kisses (about Dad of course!)
Sassy: He’s cool. He takes care of me.
SuperTween: Sometimes he drives me to school. He works and pays the bills.
Mom: Because he loves me. And he makes me laugh when he teaches the children the Fishheads song!

Category: Soul Food
“You yelled at a friend or family member because you were frustrated about something else.”

Everyone: Oh my gosh we ALL do that!

And we laughed and talked about how hard it is when you are upset or frustrated at something, but then transfer that frustration to your family.

The conversation that followed after these handful of thought provoking- blessing remembering- questions and prompts was in a word: Priceless.

We talked for half an hour. The parents. The kids. (5yrold migrated off to the Lego pile nearby). We may not have solved world peace but we did manage to get a few antiviral injections aimed at the nasty entitlement virus.

And I’m grateful for that!

I was given a copy of Count Your Blessings and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings.

Family Home Evening: Ideas

September 15, 2009

Church Chat: Defined
What is Family Home Evening?

{Please check out the fabulously funny 9thwardcartoons!}

Once a week, we set aside a specific night (usually Mondays) for Family Time.
When you stop laughing… {who has time for one more thing, eh}?

Well think about it. One night a week everyone agrees NOT to plan ANYthing else. One night a week you all agree to be together. Isn’t your family worth it?

The goal? Creating a spiritual evening, a warm and fuzzy time your kids will remember spent together. With singing and laughter and even some seriousness…
The reality? Sometimes kicking sometimes screaming, with fighting thrown in on the side… and the ‘message’ cut short by someone’s time-out.

Ah well, that’s life huh?

We don’t always stay at home for a stuffy living room lesson style FHE.
A couple weeks ago we headed to our local park with a beautiful lake.

The goal:
Watch the Sunset.
Enjoy God’s Splendor.
That Simple.

The Outcome:
Kids in PJs, playing hideNseek, mom gets a beautiful photo op, and we all agree…
What a wonderful world.

Oh wait!
I can’t forget the most important part (according to my 5yrold). The treat. Every successful family home evening must serve some sort of treat/dessert/snack. Ice cream is popular. Rice Crispy Treats and brownies are also big favorites at our house. What sort of treat do you serve on a family night?

Other FHE ideas:

Keep it Hygene:
What is the Flu, How do you get it, and handwashing strategies.
(my 11yrold showed everyone how she washes her hands without touching the facet… tricky…) Plus we all chose our ‘handwashingsong’: ABCs, Twinkle and oldMacDonald were the hits.

Fire Safety and A Fire Drill:
Make an exit plan, talk about stop drop and roll, make sure you have a meeting place in the case of an emergency.

Family Budget Planning:
A Better Way To Budget
Is there a vacation goal? Will your family be needing to purchase a vehicle soon? What larger items are the kids working towards? Help them set up a budget, think about how to work on their goal, and brainstorm ideas and ways to earn money for it. My kids know that we rarely buy anything big ticket on a whim. We think about it, and make a point to save up for it, then purchase it with real money, never on credit. What an important lesson to teach your children.

Child Labor :)
I’d like this to be more of a once a month thing, than a once in a blue moon kind of thing. What if you spent a whole family night making a list of 12 different things you could do for other families spread out over the whole year? Then create a plan to carry out each project. Maybe snow shoveling in December for your elderly neighbors. Gathering children’s clothing for your local Foster Care Foundation in March. And in July plan a summer day camp for the kids in the ‘hood… giving the moms in the area notice in advance that they can have a day to themselves! This month Office Max has created a campaign called A Day Made Better to gather office supplies for teachers, your family could join in, wrap up the supplies and deliver them yourself! Ask your kids.. they’ll have the best ideas!

I’d love to hear your ideas for Family Night!

photo credits:
bdjsb7, Jeff Keen, tomadamson, _darkguru_