Wednesday, May 4, 2011

happy kids

As a family, we've been talking about gratitude this week.  For family night on Monday, Brent taught a lesson about gratitude - what it is and why we need it - and then made a gratitude chart.  After dinner we talk about what we're grateful for that day, and make a "tally" of each for the day.

Mercedes is really getting into it.  Last night after our "charting," Mercedes said "I feel really happy."  This morning she said to me, "Mommy, thank you for making pancakes.  I've been thinking about gratitude a lot so I wanted you to know that I'm grateful."  And a few minutes later, "I love you mommy."

Since before our family began, I've worried about my kids.  Of course I've worried that they might develop some disease, or get hurt in an accident, etc, but most of my worry concerns their spirits rather than their bodies.  I've worried that they might forget who they are, how much they are loved, that they are children of the Divine King.  I've pondered ways to help them to remember - always.

This morning I had an epiphany, for which I am grateful.


Instilling habits.  It's important.

We try to read the scriptures and pray together each day.  We go to church each week.  We try to have Family Night every Monday evening.  We spend time together as a family.  I encourage the children to be friends to each other, to look out for each other and cheer for one another.  We hug and cuddle and kiss.  We express love often.  We try to have family prayer each morning before Mercedes leaves for school, but some days are just crazy and we forget.

This morning was one of those forgetful times.  I was making breakfast and then making lunch and then doing Mercedes hair... and suddenly it was time for Mercedes to be out the door.  So I walked her to the door and we took a minute to pray together before she left for the day.  I said, "Would you like to say it or would you like me to say it?"

She wanted to say it and as she began I thought: this is not JUST about asking for her safety and protection before she leaves this house.  We are creating a life-long (hopefully) HABIT of prayer.  She will eventually be so used to doing this each morning that it will be automatic.  She will naturally reach out to her Father in Heaven in prayer.  AHA!  I can help to instill habits within my children that will strengthen them, that will stay with them!  What a wonderful tool, and blessing.

I am grateful that our kids like to kiss each other.

I am grateful that our children (in most cases) come to us as helpless babies, that we have time to learn how to parent them.  Because I sure need the time.  I am... how do you say... a SLOW learner.  But I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and strive and try, and I am grateful for a Father in Heaven who does not leave me to do it alone.

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