Calling all mommies with little girls! Take a few moments and have some girl time; pull out the fancy pearls, fingure nail polish and hair bows and make her into a princess! She will be so excited. (and don’t forget to take pictures!!)
CHARACTER 101: Honesty
Fortunately for me, I still have my character study notes from teaching my older children. All I had to do was find and apply them. The weekly routine looks like this:
Day 1: Read a story that demonstrates the character trait (in this case, honesty)
Day 2: Discuss what defines an honest person
Day 3: What are the consequences of lying vs. the benefits of honesty
Day 4: Application
It is pretty simple and straight forward. By the time we were through our first week, the kids had a much better understanding of what it means to be honest.
Sounds good, easy enough. Then I had a reality check…
It was a beautiful warm sunny and windy day. My sweet four year old, determined to make a kite, found a plastic bag and a piece of yarn. Voila: a kite! She enjoyed running out side watching the wind blow it up and down. When she was through, she brought it inside and left it on the floor in the dining room. Later as I was setting the table for dinner, I picked up miscellaneous papers and plastic bags and threw them away. Soon I heard a little voice asking me if I new where her kite was. Not wanting to upset her, I told her that I did not know, but I would keep my eyes open for it. She was satisfied and moved on. I figured she would forget about it. After all, it was only a plastic bag.
She never did ask me again, but about an hour later it hit me. What have I been teaching my children!?! I just lied to my little girl! It was confession time for me and a good lesson for us all.
The best way to teach honesty is to be honest.
It started out as a typical morning, but very soon I realized the schedule would be thrown once again… older sis came reporting that younger sis said she had brushed her teeth, when in truth, she had not. I questioned how she knew this. The fact soon came to light that her toothbrush was not even wet! Never the less, younger sis would not back down claiming, yes, without a doubt, she had brushed her teeth!
One of my least favorite jobs is to play the detective and referee. Why can’t they just tell the truth and save me the long process of questioning one, then the other, until eventually, the truth is known. Or is it?
As I began to walk through this process, again, it occurred to me… When was the last time I sat down with my younger children and really taught them about the consequences of lying? Do they even know what is wrong with it? Have I shown them the benefits of being honest?
So begins: CHARACTER STUDIES 101 Week 1: Honesty
In frustration, my sister explained to me how she could keep a clean house or she could cook all the meals or she could teach her children. But what she could not do well, was all three at the same time!
It seems that when I get a good handle on one of these, another begins to lack! There is an art to learning to balance and maintain all areas. Often, just when I think I have achieved it, life changes in some way and the apple cart is upset again.
A clean house, nutritious meals, well trained children are all important, but so much more important is to give my family love! I can get so caught up in tending to the superficial needs and fail to take the time to simply love. My mother in law gave me a tea cup with a verse on it that sums up these thoughts so well:
“Cleaning and scrubbing can wit till tomorrow…
for babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow…
so quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”
When I was little, there was a certain rule that even though it wasn’t always convenient for me, I always knew it was a must for my parents. I think you would agree that days are busy; children demand a LOT of attention. Whether it is wiping a running nose, helping with school work, holding a court session with a couple of arguing children, reading stories, or making dinner… the day is always full and busy and sometimes it seems impossible to get a moment to pull yourself back together for the rest of the day.
There is a trick that I want to tell you about; that has to power to change what your day looks like! Imagine being able to go somewhere where your children know, “this is mommy time; just wait.” From here on out, let your kiddos know that you love to have them in your room, however…
“If the door is closed, don’t open it. Don’t knock. Just wait until you come out. (unless there is an emergency).”
To this day, when I am at home and my parents door is closed… we wait.