I have two amazing little people that live in my house with me. My son, seven and daughter, five. For the past few years on the way to school or as I’m leaving for work I ask a simple question of them both:
What are you going to do today?
The first time I asked it was met with, I don’t know or go to school or overall disdain. I knelt down and said, “No, you’re going to be awesome.” As kids do, they’ve evolved it to a deep breath followed by shouting as loud as they can:
Sometimes my daughter takes it in the other direction and whispers it as quiet as she can and I have to ask, “What was that?” and she’ll get a little louder each time I ask until she bellows it out. BE AWESOME!
Then a few months ago, after jumping into gratitude with both feet I started asking at the dinner table, “What are you grateful for today?” We go around the table three times and everybody has to say something different. Usually the answers from the kids are about family or our pets, but as it’s evolved they have picked up some of the other things to be grateful for that my wife and I list.
In December, we lost my brother-in-law to cancer and so that night I said I was grateful for the health of my family and the fact that we were all together at the table. My son has since said he’s grateful that he’s healthy a number of times. And kids being kids they’re grateful for Pokemon and Shopkins as well. As it should be.
I feel like starting the day with a declarative statement of awesomeness and ending the day with a reflection of what they’re grateful for is, on the surface, irrelevant to them, I mean, they’re kids. But in the years to come and through repetition and consistency these messages will start to become part of who they are. What are they going to do today? Duh, be awesome. What are they grateful for? This amazing life that they have and even in darkness there is light to be found.
Of course, these two small things are just bookends for the love and lessons that we share with them in-between, but they’re pretty AWESOME bookends.
What daily routines do you do for yourself or for your kids? Let me know in the comments below.