Our final gratitude practice is about remembering we get to teach in the good moments too. In my work with clients and families, I often need to remind myself that discipline is really about teaching. The word “discipline” means “to train.” And boy do I do my share of “training”. It feels like everyday is a near constant circle of instructions, checking, providing, talking, and explaining. Sometimes yelling. Often breathing (#wordoftheyear). 🙂
The beauty in the down time
But recently I was reminded of how beautiful those “other” moments with our kids can be. Beyond the yelling and correcting for misbehavior. Into the moments of down time when the kids are settled into something and not getting into anything they shouldn’t be into! (If you are still in the toddler years where it seems like there isn’t a moment to breathe — hold tight! You moment will come when you have some time to breathe and speak into other moments!)
These are the moments to lean into the things we want them to truly know. Perhaps it may be sharing a story from your own childhood. Maybe it is a discussion about some hot topic or hard topic. Or maybe it is sharing about something you love deeply within their identity.
Create the short list of NEEDS for this season
I encourage all of us to create a short list of things we NEED our child to know in this season. Perhaps it is sharing about grandpa’s illness. Maybe about how you see them stepping into a leadership role on their basketball team.
Whatever it might be…write down what you need them to know and then seek the moments to share little bits of it. It doesn’t have to be a long, “sit down” conversation. Just little bits at a time when you have those moments.
Small steps, small moments, big impact!
Also remember, this is just one season. We will have lots more seasons with them to share other things we need them to know. Don’t get stressed or overly complicated. Just take small steps in small moments.