Checking in with your kids each day is a great way to help them remember their values and to focus on the type of person that they want to be. And a great question to ask each night is, “What mark did you make today?”
You see, every time you are with someone you leave a mark – either a “gold heart” or a “grungy mark” depending on how you treated them.
When I was a young girl, my Dad loved to talk about the Golden Rule – “to treat others as I would want to be treated”. The Golden Rule was really about treating other people with kindness and respect. When you are respectful (giving gold hearts), it builds rapport, trust, and connection with others. When you are disrespectful (leaving grungy marks), it can cause resentment, anger, distrust, and conflict and can build an emotional wall between you and the other person.
Treating others with kindness and respect is the foundation for happy marriages, meaningful friendships, successful careers, and joyful families. Teaching our kids to live by the Golden Rule will help them learn how to create successful relationships in their lives.
So tonight at dinner, I invite you to share this idea of giving “gold hearts” or leaving “grungy marks” with your kids. Then each night going forward, ask your kids, “What type of mark did you make today?”
I was asked this question several years ago and it was a very powerful question for me so I wanted to share it with you.
Like you, I was already an engaged and connected parent; however, taking a few minutes to actually write down my vision for my kids enabled me to see areas where I was spending a lot of time and areas where I wanted to focus more.
Although we can’t guarantee how our kids will “turn out”, every interaction we have with them does shape their lives – especially when they are young and their core thoughts and belief systems are being formed.
I would like to invite you to spend about 10 minutes today thinking about this question and creating a vision for your parenting if you don’t already have one.
As part of the exercise, you may want to use the “Balance Wheel”. The Balance Wheel is a coaching tool that is used to assess various areas of your life for balance – emotional, social/community, spiritual, occupational/school/financial, mental, physical, family, and recreational.
Depending on your children’s ages you may even want to share your vision with them — sharing your vision can help them understand why you make the decisions you make (such as why you don’t buy them a toy every time you take them to the grocery store, why they have household responsibilities, or why you don’t serve cookies for dinner).
Have fun with this exercise.
P.S. Invite your spouse to go through the exercise as well. You may be surprised!
Little Darling whom now a mature adult has learned over the years that “What happened to Little Darling as a child to cause Abandonment issues are all based on Perception.” Abandonment is the eye of the Beholder and our Perception is the Wound we carry throughout our life.
Not long after waking up in the strange room a woman dressed all in white and then another one dressed the same come into her room. How are you feeling they ask Little Darling are you hungry? They tell her they are nurses and she is in the hospital to get better. The nurses say they are there to help Little Darling to do just that. Little Darling begins to cry and asks where her Mommy and Daddy are? The tall thin nurse says they are at home with her older sister and the baby. Little Darling’s father was probably at work and her mom did not know how to drive.
Little Darling is a Child of Emotional Neglect. Her Parent
Poor frightened and drowsy Little Darling tells the Nurses her tummy hurts. She is told she has had a Belly Button Operation. Apparently Little Darling picked her Belly Button so bad it became very infected and deformed. The Doctor had to fix it so it would heal and look better again.
Little Darling has learned that when a young child she had a Skin Picking Disorder which is a conscious response to Anxiety and Depression. Little Darling still suffers from Anxiety and Depression in her Adult life. It does not just go away.By picking her belly button it was Little Darling’s new way of self-soothing herself after her emotionally absent mother took her blanket away.