The arrival of 2012 brings new prospects and growth for all ages. Children, in particular, are eager to be another year older, and to experience opportunities that weren’t available when they were younger. As they stretch their wings in a world that doesn’t always allow for the presence of a parent, it’s inevitable from time to time that they will find themselves bumping up against attitudes or values that conflict with the ones at home. As a parent, the coming of the New Year is a wonderful chance to continue strengthening your own family values in an enjoyable way.
One approach is to implement a family motto with the beginning of the New Year. Find a phrase that speaks directly to the core of the family, and place it at the eye level of young children. It may be as elaborate as a vinyl phrase placed upon the wall, or as simple as a piece of paper taped to the door, just as long as the family creates it together and passes by it daily.
In addition to choosing a motto to reaffirm the strength of the family unit, choosing an extra noun each month for the family to focus on can also be beneficial. For example, during the month of February, incorporate the word “Love” into the family’s activities. It’s an obvious choice, as Valentine’s Day will be a major focus of the month, but plan to take it beyond the basic ideas of cards and gifts of love. Talk about ways to show love to not only family or friends, but strangers, pets, objects in the home, even the environment. Create a weekly family challenge to prove there is no limitation to the word’s application, and discuss successes together.
As the lessons continue throughout the year, the values that are instilled in the home will be carried out into the world. Maybe, just maybe, those values will be the ones that begin to influence others, and from a simple ripple, great waves will grow!