We are officially more than a month into attempting to live our values daily. For those of you not following the monthly check-ins, our family chose to attack one value set at a time, with quality time with kith and kin being our first value goal. While not meeting the lofty goal of living this value daily, there have been some notable changes:
We, the parents, are more aware of our engagement with the kids. I noticed we spent less time on our phones or computers, engaged one another and the kids in conversations, and had less family movie nights this past month than we have in several months.
We, as a family, have been purposeful in planning our weekends to ensure we had time for family activities that were enjoyable. This required a good deal of sacrificing on all sides (no dissertation work on weekends till kids went to bed for me, less time with friends for my husband, and skipping a sleep over for our oldest.) Everyone agrees it was worth it. We played at the playground on the zipline and the climbing wall, went to the circus, cooked and ate dinners together, went to sports games as a whole family even when it wasn’t necessary, and hosted get togethers with friends and family. Our weekends were truly focused on kith and kin.
When having our monthly family meeting, the kids shared that they were happy with this experiment so far. They shared they felt “more important” and “more loved” over the past few weeks as my husband and I took the time to connect with them over their interests and in a conscious manner. It means something to them that we consciously chose playing with them over sitting and talking to one another, or working on our school/work projects.
Moving forward, we plan to continue forward with our momentum towards the goal of engaging in activities focused on kith and kin this month, but also focused on learning and growth in some way, shape or form. The kids requested hiking, exploring the world around them, and learning skills they would need “to survive by ourselves in the woods.” We, the parents, have our goal of providing the kids with the kind of learning experiences they are requesting and increasing our own knowledge of gardening and canning in such a way that we are also enjoying quality time with one another. (Secondarily, I have made it a goal to actually look up the answers to all the questions the kids ask that I don’t know and say “let’s google it when we get home.” Starting with this: the horses we saw the other day were probably wearing coats because they had been recently bathed, the owner didn’t want them to get dirty, or they had a recent hair cut and may have been a bit chilled.)
What have you always wanted to learn? What’s stopping you? Is there something you can do this next month to grow in your learning, knowledge, abilities in some small way? Join us!