Today, right in the middle of my kitchen, at the end of a not so bad day, in a nothing special moment, when I least expected it... I received one the Biggest, Little Blessings of my life! This beautiful blessing came straight from the sweet little hearts of my children.
Here it is from the beginning....
Our core curriculum in our home has become lessons in character, teaching not only my children how to be better creatures but their parents as well. All the homeschooling books that I hold dear emphasize teaching character FIRST and allowing everything else to fall into place. When children are taught what is expected of them they become better equipped to deal with the world around them. It is these characteristics that allow them to become better learners and more caring individuals.
We are currently working on the characteristic of Obedience, and I have to say it was slow going at first. As part of this lesson the children are suppose to ask God to help them be obedient to their parents, and the parents are to be obedient to the instructions that come from God.
Obedience~ Immediately doing what is asked of you on the first request, WITH a joyful heart.
Well, I would like to tell you that my little angels were quick learners with this one, but let's face it this one is hard even for their parents (especially that joyful heart part). So, as an extra incentive I have started to give away an Obedience Award at the end of everyday to the most obedient (by definition) child.
Today as my obedient little angels buzzed around and the, "Yes Ma'ams" filled the air, there was a presence of peacefulness that filled this house. Everyone played nicer, talked sweeter, shared more freely, and showed genuine concern for someone other than themselves. I was witnessing their character being shaped before my eyes, they were demonstrating true obedience.
Now, I know that this was directly related to the incentive, but regardless of the initial reason for doing their task these little ones were still learning a valuable lesson. Repetition breeds habit and habit leads to changes in behavior, if this tactic works for negative aspects why not uses it for good?
It was very difficult for me to choose which child would receive the award (a bag filled with different privileges, the child being awarded gets to reach in a choose one). All of the children worked really hard at being not only obedient but joyfully obedient! It came down to my two oldest and I chose my son, he had improved the most over the past few days and deserved to be recognized.
And that's when it happened...
After my sweet little boy picked his privilege he quietly walked over to his very disappointed sister and said, "Here I want to share this with you." His generosity quickly spread to the other children as each of them began to make genuine heartfelt offers to each other. I watched this beautiful little moment unfold between my children and I was truly blessed.
If only we could all treat each other the way these little ones treated each other today, what a different place this world would be. The lesson of the day was mostly mine and it was taught to me by three little people with Giant size character.
There was so much more learned here today than just obedience.