Good children must fear God all day. -- New England Primer

Sometime before school started this year, our family began the practice (tradition?) of evaluating our day over dinner. We first answer the question, "What do you feel that you did well today?" After we've all had our turn, we answer the question, "What do you feel that you did not do well today?"

That has two follow-up questions: "What do you need to do to make that right?" and/or "What will you do differently next time?"

This sort of reflection and self-evaluation comes easily to some of us (Eli and me) and it's very difficult for others (Doug and Lila). I think we've finally gotten a good rhythm going now. When we sit down to eat, we pray together, and then have 2 (or more) minutes of silence. That gives everyone a chance to think through their day as they munch and come up with their answers to both questions. Then, once everyone is ready, we share.

This whole thing was my idea (picked up at Veritas' Family Education Week), but even I have been surprised at how beneficial it's been! When we first began the practice, the kids had a very difficult time apologizing - especially to one another. Over time, they've gotten much more comfortable with apologies, as well as with asking for, offering, and receiving forgiveness. I'm REALLY proud of them!

It's also been a good way for Doug and me to practice transparency and accountability with our kids. (that is grammatically correct. look it up.) We are giving examples of how to celebrate our victories and how to humbly admit our failures. We apologize to one another just as often as they do and we are open to the kids' suggestions for how we can make amends and how we could do things differently.

Lila and Eli don't always enjoy it, sometimes I'm so tired that I don't want to share, and it's a daily labor of love for Doug, but it's one of our best family traditions!

No comments: