Make a conscious decision to be a messenger of love; Be Jesus-like…You will inspire others.
Begin to draw your children’s attention to the moments when they can stop and make a choice to be the force for good. Share your childhood and adult challenges and your choices as living examples. Plan on doing “on going” acts of kindness for others in tandem with your children and their capabilities. Praise them for helping. You are doing God’s work in donating your time talent and treasure as a family and individually. Get hooked on the feeling of feeling good when helping and service others.
Kids are bombarded with so much stimulation. When’s the last time you heard the words, “I’m bored…” come whining out of a little mouth? They are used to being occupied with something at every moment. Screen time is even threatening to invade dinner time! If they see you unplug, they will do the same. Being a messenger of love means you put God first, then yourself (so you can take care of others), then your family and last your work.
One of the consequences of this is that little minds don’t get quiet time to assess and make the best decisions. Our reaction time is too short. (We’re guilty of this too!) But, it’s never too early to start instilling a calm and loving homebase for the children in your life. The art of conversation, learning how to evaluate situations, processing thoughts and understanding consequences is the foundation for their healthy and happy future selves.
Of course you are teaching them to be considerate and open-hearted. They see this in how you treat others and in the children’s books you read to them as well as the shows that you put in front of them. But without taking time to stop and consider, the daily groundwork you could miss out on some beautiful teachable moments and memories.
In my last post, we talked about meditation being hard and rewarding at the same time. The same can be said in choosing to be messengers of love. Like learning a second language, it’s easier the sooner you begin. Maybe right after bedtime stories and prayer, you can take some moments of silence to just reflect on gratitude—or maybe just take some quiet time to be in a warm loving place.
This serves several purposes. It gives them a haven that they will remember as they go through life. And they develop the ability to take a pause—even during life’s challenging moments—they can draw from that calm place.
Next time you are with a child witnessing an opportunity to make a decision out of a place of love or a place of selfishness, draw their attention to the fact that they have a choice in that moment. Ask them if they can choose to use their heart to make the decision. Point out the effect their decision will have on others. Help them be aware that their actions have effects—that decisions deserve to come from a place of calm. If they need a nudge, tell them what you would do if you were them. Be patient and supportive of their feelings as their brains develop. We were all born selfish and needy, that’s how babies communicate for survival.
So, when faced with one of the day’s MANY decisions—to share a toy, to help someone, to let a sibling go first—they might not jump to an instant reaction, and “I don’t want to.” As these decisions become bigger and more impactful, they have learned the art of taking a breath and going to the calm loving place before making a decision.
Yes! Practice this with them. We should all be choosing to be messengers of love. We are all worthy of God’s pure unconditional love – Spread the GOOD Word!