At the beginning of every school year and again at the beginning of every calendar year, my husband and I sit down and discuss our goals, plans, and dreams with our kids.
We try to create a discussion that gets them talking about what they hope to achieve over the next few months and if they’ve thought about any steps on how to get there. We use this time to give suggestions and to hear their heart as well.
We go around to each kid and talk to them directly. Occasionally a sibling will chime in with a good idea or some encouragement.
We have found that these kind of group discussions foster a sense of belonging and unity. We are ALL working towards something. Mom and Dad included. We try as much as possible (sometimes it’s unavoidable) to not have a situation where we just talk AT the kids. We ask open ended questions that force some thought and reply.
Recently we have been asking the kids if they see any areas WE can improve or work on in the next few months. Sometimes it’s silence. Sometimes it’s hilarious: Cruz (6) just told my husband he really needs to take some time and clean his closet up 🤣 and sometimes it’s really valuable insight- like that I stress one of my kids out when I act like we are late…when we aren’t (I had no idea! I’m glad I was told). Or that Dad sounds too stern at football practice. 😬 (now that’s a fact!!!)
I love that they have a chance to give us feedback, and maybe more important, that we receive the constructive criticism with grace. That they see humility modeled and that we don’t get defensive or give excuses.
The lesson here is that we all need people that speak into our lives, and we need to receive it well to constantly evolve and improve. Our goal is this will continue to teach them to be humble and teachable themselves.
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