How do we make the invisible, visible for our children? The next in our Saturday Series in developing leadership in kids. On Monday we return to our regular leadership fare.
A Guest Post from Sonia Di Maulo, Canada
Samuel picks up the slightest change in his environment. He senses that his mom needs a hug. And of course, mom is grateful. Later that afternoon, he deliberately annoys his little brother, and a mini-war ensues.
Samuel makes choices every day. At ten years old, sometimes he chooses well. What is it about his environment that leads him towards his choices?
The connection he has with his mother is one of mutual trust, respect and love. In that environment, he is more in tune with the needs of the people around him. The connection he has with his brother has a heightened sense of competition added to the brotherly love. And so the same boy behaves differently in different situations.
As parents, how can we guide our children to align their words and actions to their values, independent of the environment? How can we help them infuse their surroundings with LIFE, based on LIFE-giving principles? With the ability to see the domino effect and to influence their future words and actions?
It starts with self-awareness.
A Dinner Activity: Making the Invisible, Visible
“Getting my kids to talk about the details of their days is hard enough”, you may be thinking, “How can I get them to increase their self-awareness to be able to see the connections that they affect everyday?”
At every dinnertime, I expect my kids to reflect on their days and to pick out one high point and one low point. This excellent game builds awareness of self and environment and boosts their ability to influence their future actions and words for the next daily report.
Game: High Point/Low Point
How to Play: Every member of the family shares the best part and lowest part of their day. Other family members listen and ask questions to get to the details.
Objective of the Game: Making visible, the lines that connect us all and increase self-awareness
Number of Players: 2 or more
Keys to Success: Consistent play every dinner time, make it fun, keep it short, show interest, encourage laughing and connection
Why Play? This game builds essential communication skills and cultivates family unity. It encourages:
- Thinking about, selecting, and communicating emotional events in their day
- Respectful listening to all members of the family
- Critical thinking and self-awareness
- Building leadership skills from a very young age (as soon as they can speak, you can play)
We’ve been playing this game for years, at dinnertime, during vacations, and on road trips. We built variations on the theme and turned it into: “What was the favorite/least favorite part of your vacation, of the movie, of your field trip” and so on.
Try it with your family for a month and let me know how it goes.
Sonia Di Maulo M.A. ― founder, author, feedback enthusiast, speaker, performance improvement professional and creator of award-winning programs ― is passionate about helping leaders cultivate trust and collaboration.
This post is part of the Virtual Blog Book Tour for Sonia’s book, The Apple in the Orchard: A story about finding the courage to emerge. Discover the new vision for the world of work and get a glimpse into the power of living systems as models for sustainability, collaboration, and growth. Purchase your copy at www.theappleintheorchard.ca. Visit the other stops on the Book Tour on her Harvest Performance Blog.