I love new beginnings and fresh starts. I need them. I need the reminder to evaluate what I’m doing and recommit. As we head into a new school year these are things I want to work on as a mom.
1. Speak with kindness and encouragement – I sincerely believe the world would be a better place if we were all more intentional with our choice of words. It grieves me to see parents speaking harshly and I wonder how often that is me. I truly think I will spend my entire life learning to watch my words more carefully.
2. Remember my kids – all kids – all adults are a work in progress. Knowing something and being able to consistently execute on it are two different things. I know how to do a better job listening to my kids, but I don’t always practice it.
My kids I might know how to defuse an argument, but be too set on winning the argument to care about de-escalating it. As kids there are lessons they will have to learn over and over and over again. I must be patient to teach those lessons over and over and over again – looking not for perfection in this moment but improvement. Sometimes they will have all the knowledge they need but need practice facing the situation. It’s difficult, but in those time I need to be able to watch them without lecturing.
3. Have a sense of adventure – Somedays instead of asking, “why?” I need to say “why not?” Honestly I can be a bit of a ‘fraidy cat sometimes. We go to a particular water park each summer and there was a ride there I had convinced myself I didn’t want to do. This trip C asked if I would do it with him and I said yes. It was actually sort of fun and not at all the big deal I had made it in my mind. So many things I’ve been afraid of have turned out well.
4. Choose a positive attitude – I like to think I have this one under control. Yet when one of my kids struggles with a negative attitude for the 3rd time today, I realize I still have a long way to go. I say to my child, “You have the power to choose your attitude” yet I also say, “Your behavior makes everyone around you irritable.” If I can choose my attitude, I shouldn’t be claiming he is making me irritable.
5. Cultivate a thankful attitude – I truly am grateful for the wonderful blessings I have in my life and I hope it shows in my general attitude and countenance. This is one of those things I think I feel but I want to exude. It isn’t really enough to be quietly secretly thankful. Thankfulness isn’t so much about our circumstances, but about our ability to see the goodness around us regardless of our circumstances. Perhaps the reason I don’t exude thankfulness is because I do have a hard time transcending circumstance. Sure sometimes I can be thankful in the midst of facing challenges, but make my environment dusty or smelly with some annoying bugs and I have a hard time.
Just this morning I saw this wonderful post called Give me Gratitude or give me Debt and I thought it was really good. ( Ironically I was on my way to select new countertops for our kitchen. ) Anyway I think it speaks to the ridiculousness of our first world discontent.
6. Make time for friends – Not just vague, “Let’s get together sometime.” This year I want to make sure I actually say, “Would you like to come to our house next Saturday?” or “The boys are interested in seeing the ____ movie. Would you like to go with us?”
What are your resolutions for the new school year?