Friday, March 7, 2014

Young Children and Lent

Lent has begun and we are doing our best to make it more meaningful for the kiddos this year.  While I decided to give up dessert and my daily chocolate consumption (let me tell you, this was a lot of chocolate!), my husband and I thought our kiddos were a bit young to partake in giving anything up.  Instead we have decided to bring out our kindness jar again and focus on kind acts both in and out of our home.

While this takes some extra effort on our part to "catch" those moments, it is well worth the journey for all of us.  At times I feel like I notice more of the undesired behavior than the desired, kind behavior my kids demonstrate.  This may be because when my kids are not kind to each other there is a lot of crying, screaming, and fighting involved and when they are getting along it's so peaceful.  Well, as peaceful as it can get with four young children!  I am hoping that this will help me to truly appreciate all of the good that they do and not get so caught up in the misbehavior.

What are we looking for?  Playing nicely together, using their manners, helping each other out, and simple nice gestures are just a few examples of a way they can earn a pom for the jar.  Thus far our oldest has read to his sister and made her a get well picture, as they're both feeling under the weather.  My middles played a peaceful game of Memory together and have used polite table manners.  While I certainly can't catch everything, I am doing my best to notice the small, everyday moments that are wrapped in kindness.

We are also participating in the rice bowl campaign.  Our kids do simple chores around the house for a little allowance.  During Lent, when they receive their allowance we are asking them to decide how much they will keep and how much they will contribute to the rice bowl.  Thus far they've been quite generous!  We're just trying to keep it simple and teach a few lessons along the way.  We hope that they take something away some valuable lesson this year.

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