Well parents, we officially made it to the end of 2020! It was quite the journey for us all. There were definitely ups and downs, but if we choose to see the positives, we all probably learned many things. Even better, we had the chance to instill in our kids some very powerful life lessons. Our kids learned how to cope with major change. They learned how to manage disappointment. They hopefully learned how to process through emotions like fear and anxiety. This time period forced many of us to streamline our schedules and get a lot more organized as the family juggled a new paradigm. With 2021 upon us, there is one big lesson we can still choose to teach… civility and kindness.
Modeling kindness at home
Basic civility seems to be something that our current culture has lost, canceled out if you will, especially when opinions differ! This is also a topic we have spent much time on here at Parenting on Purpose. And as kindness is a Fruit of the Spirit, it is one of the imperatives that we teach our children how to exercise. As with so many things the training ground for this starts at home. Sadly, because we tend to let our guard down at home, the family tends to get the worst side of us. This is especially true of children. Home is their environment to safely push boundaries and know unconditional love, which is why mom sometimes bears the brunt of misbehavior and attitudes.
Again as with most things we are training our children, this starts with us. We need to be modeling this behavior first and foremost at home. As stress has risen, to sometimes insurmountable heights this year, I am quite certain we have all become a bit snappy. I know that I have for sure! If you are like me, your frustration level has risen as you have tried to get work done at home with continued interruptions. Or have maybe allowed the cultural tensions to seep over into your emotions. Or as with so many, the tensions and stress have impacted your marriage and have eked into how you and your spouse speak to each other.
As with most New Year’s resolutions, this is a time we traditionally look at our lives and set goals for ourselves and families. So take a step back and evaluate, how do I speak to my spouse? How do I speak to my children? Does my voice tone change when I am frustrated or disagree? Do my spouse and I “fight fair” or do we get heated? Disagreements and frustrations are normal, especially in this unprecedented time, but we may need to make a change in how we are speaking to and treating each other.