Aren’t you amazed about just how big of a role model you are in your own home? Every day is sprinkled with all those vital life lessons amid the laundry and the homework. They really add up. I must admit, that it took me many years to realize how much my daily actions make an impression on my kids. Until astounded strangers were impressed by “please” and “thank you” said without a gentle reminder. I guess I did that!
Once you start driving in a car pool, you realize how much of “you” comes out of your littles when you’re not around!
And at home, I realized that I was repeating what my parents said to me (“close the door before all the air-conditioning goes out”)! Ouch.
So, I sat down and defined what I wanted my children to remember about me – my ideals. What were those daily life lessons that are important to me (and that they’ll pass along in their families one day)? You can use this ideals printable to mindmap yours.
- Unconditional love – hugs and those three big words! This is MY BIG ONE and it’s something great to share every day. We actually have spontaneous “family hug” time where we basically tackle each other in hugs. It’s. The. Best.
- Curiosity – asking questions is a strength and makes life interesting. I learned from my teacher-sister-in-law to begin your answer with, “What do you think?” It’s fascinating and sometimes giggle-funny to hear what they think! Encourage creative thinking over being “right.” Failure and mistakes are actually what help us learn.
- Money skills – be respectful of the time and money that goes into spending money. A book, snack, or shirt is a treasure because, you know, “money doesn’t grow on trees.”
- Responsibility – take responsibility for actions and outcomes. If you broke it, apologize, help clean up, and Mama won’t be so mad.
- Contribution – be generous and contribute to the family team. This is where a chore list and lots and lots of one-on-one training are helpful.
- Self-sufficiency – you gain independence by learning to take care of yourself and your things. It’s sooo sad when a cute puppy and a cute toy find each other on the floor. Actually, a cute puppy is a really great way to learn this lesson!
- Respect – everyone has a special talent and is deserving of respect even if you can’t see their talent. Especially if you can’t see their talent.
- Gratitude – life echoes back to you. Be kind. Be mindful of the little moments – they’re the true big things in life.
- Growth – learning new ideas and skills keeps life full. Elementary-school-aged kids love to do almost anything with their parents. They’re happy to share their new interests, too. The more you do this, the more they’ll share with you in the teen years. Truth!
- Leadership – being of service, active, and confidant will fill your life with opportunities. Someone is always watching, so give them something inspiring to see.
We’re always working on these – every day in fact. But I’m glad that I’m the person giving them their first lessons.
We’d love to hear your great ideas, too. What are your daily lessons?