I, like most mothers, feel an insane weight of responsibility to raise my children to be the best sort of adult possible. I only have so long with them and even shorter is the time that they may go along with my little family ritual shenanigans. For a long time, usually at dinner, we have been discussing our high and lows for each day. Dinner time works well, because if they just can't think of something (which is rare for high/low) then they have the rest of the evening to deliberately fulfill the missing answer. Often times, especially from my 5 years old, Anaiya, there will be no "low".
On MLK day, we were discussing Dr. King's quote, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
It got me thinking about the challenges of teaching sympathy, kindness and generosity. I think that the idea is easy but, even adults have difficulty putting it into practice. There lies the key. Practice. Now, at dinner, we do our high and lows, but for the last few weeks, we've also been discussing the ways in which we felt we were being generous and kind to others that day.
It's still early in the game, but I've already seen them develop an appreciation for the difference between doing something nice for someone when asked and doing more than necessary or expected for someone because it's kind. However, most days, it's a good thing we have these discussions at dinner time, because it gives them the opportunity to do something generous before the days end. :)
I'll leave you with the beautiful, thinking faces of my children when pondering their answers at last night's dinner :)