helping those around us.
building them up.
We are far from perfect as parents, but i ask you: how? How are we supposed to remain positive in the face of constant heartbreak? It breaks my heart when one of my children is reaching out for approval ~ of an idea or a feeling... or a piece of artwork~ and one of his siblings (the one from whom that approval is most needed) knocks him to the ground with "you're stupid!" or "you're an idiot!" or "I hate you!"? I feel dirty even typing these words. They have become to me some of my least favorite and most painful words.
Last night, it was my turn for the Family Home Evening lesson and after dinner, i said quietly to my husband, "how can i really teach another 'Love One Another' lesson? I want to just say, 'You win. I give up. I'm done(and finished)!' " So we decided that we would have a family council and ask our children what we could do to be a happy family.
Well, Megan(8) came up with the idea of making a chart with everyone's bedtimes on it and taking off five minutes for every hurtful comment, or mean action (meaning they have to go to bed earlier). It is a great idea, but part of me thinks it will just become another chart to add to the side of the fridge that is just part of the landscape: unnoticed. unheeded.
Except then my husband shared something that M. Russell Ballard taught recently, and I am paraphrasing: When a [family] council discusses an issue and comes to a conclusion and says, "This is what we will do..." there is a power in that synergy that [nothing] can stop.
And this morning, I read something my friend, Elisa, included in her blog about getting our kids to ask questions. I loved this: “The Savior said, "ask and ye shall receive... knock and it shall be opened unto you." He didn't say, "Be quiet and let me tell you what you need to know." When our kids ask questions, they are prepared to hear the answers. Listen for those questions and set up opportunities for them to ask questions.
A little nudge here, a bright idea there. That's how to do it. One day at a time. Being just a little bit better. Together. We can do this.