In case you want more detail I am going to share more about what our morning looked like today. We started with quiet time thoughts. One child was confused by Ecclesiastes. (imagine that) What does "Like the fool, the wise man too must die!" mean? Another child gave their thoughts and I gave mine. Then another child shared they were reading the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." and was realizing they had been being selfish lately. This child was frustrated with her self and was battling the desire to get what they wanted. Another child confessed they felt selfish lately too, especially with food, they admitted to taking the biggest piece when given the chance. Thoughts were shared and a challenge to live the golden rule placed. The traits and definitions we listed then were:
Boldness: confidence that what I say or do is true and pleasing to God.
"..the righteous are as bold as a lion." Proverbs 28:1
Respect: honoring others with my actions and my words.
"Show proper respect to everyone." I Peter 2:17
Ask-Don't Inform: respecting others by asking their permission.
"I delight to do your will, O God." Psalm 40:8a
Generosity: freely sharing my possessions and my time.
"God loves a cheerful giver." II Cor. 9:7
Obedience: doing what I am told, when I am told, with a good attitude.
"Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." Eph. 6:1
Self-control: controlling my emotions and actions so they do not control me.
"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty." Prov. 16:32
Patience: quietly waiting my turn.
"Be patient, then, until the Lord's coming." James 5:7
Encouragement: inspire with hope and confidence.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up," I Thes. 5:11
Manners (we took a couple weeks on this)
Proverbs 27: 2 was our trait for one week: "Let another praise you and not your own mouth."
A few traits we kept for two weeks, but over all this is our year so far.
Today we picked communication: telling you my thoughts and listening to yours.
"A wholesome tongue is a tree of life." Prov. 15:4
The how to's of communication include: Answering when spoken to and speaking or answering loud enough so others hear you.
"Please explain" is a response we should use when we feel a comment seems unkind. For example, a comment of "your slippers are too small" may sound like "you have big feet" so the hearer may want to assume the best and ask the commenter to please explain.
Watch tone. Be sweet like honey vs. harsh. JT was told this could be good husband practice since the Bible says, "Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them."
When saying "Please stop", must name what person is to stop and not repeat.."please stop, please stop, please stop" without giving chance for change.
No interrupting and when do be quick to apologize.
When asking someone not to say something to you, you must give an alternative to what don't like. One child doesn't like to be told not to talk baby talk so we asked what they would like and finally came up with "up talk". Hmm, doesn't really matter what is said, it could be "elevator" as long as the person agrees to it and understands what it means. Another time, some children didn't like others asking "what should you be doing?" so we agreed to "shoo-be", a version of "should be". Now we can encourage each other to focus with a quick shoo-be and no one is allowed to be offended.
After a few more ideas we prayed. Each child took their turn praying for God's help with communication and then for someone outside our family. The end.