As parents, we do our best to make sure our kids grow up to be hard-working members of society. We also want them to be well-educated. And successful. And good looking too, if it's not asking too much! We all have goals for our children and we work to make them come to fruition, but the day in and day out of parenthood is just plain hard work!
Am I doing this right? I ask myself that question at least ten times a day! I second guess half of the choices I make. I frequently want to snatch words out of the air right after they leave my mouth. I have lots of great intentions, but the actually follow through always seems lacking.
Please tell me I'm not the only one! In talking with my girlfriends in real life and watching how things play out on Facebook, it seems that none of us have it all figured out and those that seem the most put together are only telling partial truths. We all struggle with different aspects of parenting and we all need support in this journey.
That is why I was so excited to try out this poster and companion materials from We Choose Virtues. I received a poster with twelve virtues listed along with colorful illustrations and kid-friendly verbiage for each virtue. I also received an email with downloadable materials, including a coloring book and a teaching handbook.
Back in March we had tried some character building, but it fizzled for a few reasons. One, it was hard for me to pick out the character traits I wanted to reinforce, while still have the language be at a level all three kids could understand. I didn't have a well thought out plan before I started and that made it hard to keep up with.
This set, however, is everything you need to work on virtues with your kids! There are 12 different virtues each with a cute character, a positive catchphrase and a note or two about behaviors that run contrary to the virtue.
I hung the poster in the living room and gave the kids each a picture to color while we talked about virtues. I also told them that I would be on the lookout for virtuous behavior and I would add a marble to the community marble jar for each act that I saw. Furthermore, I explained that my expectations are different for each of them because of their ages. To me that's always seemed obvious, but my kids need it spelled out!
Each time I caught them behaving appropriately, I would call out the virtue and add a marble to the cup. When they've misbehaved, I've pointed them towards the poster and had them read out loud the virtue they should have been showing. (I read it for Benjamin, but I pick him up to look at the poster while doing so.)
I think it's been going well. We've aimed to color a different sheet each week, but all the virtues are on the table at all times. I might pick out a specific one to focus on for a day when we really need help with it, but I like having them trying to be good all around rather than just focusing on being kind and forgetting to also be diligent in their work.
If you'd like to get your own set, you can shop at their website.
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