Our family tries to have dinner together every night. This is our time together, without the distraction of television, video games, or phones. We tell each other about our days, what we have coming up, and pick on their mother.
It is sometimes difficult to extract information from them. I had been asking the same questions, so they gave their standard responses:
Me: How was your day?
Me: Anything exciting happen today?
Them: Not really/I don’t know
Me: Who did you sit with at lunch/play with at recess?
Them: Same people as always.
So, I have decided to mix it up and ask questions that will make them reflect on their day:
Tell us something that made you happy during the day.
What was your favorite moment of today?
Name something from today that made you thankful.
Did anyone or anything make you laugh today? Tell us about it.
[When I ask about them laughing during the day, I think back to a question my mom always asked: Did y’all laugh today? My sisters and I would always roll our eyes and make fun of her about this question. We thought it was a weird thing to ask. We just assumed she had run out of normal questions. I now see that she was making sure we were happy. So, Mom, if you are reading this, sorry for giving you a hard time and thank you for passing this question on to me so that I can annoy my boys with it, while also making sure that they are happy.]
Tell us one act of Kindness that you witnessed today.
I really like this Kindness question because it is a question I ask myself when I reflect upon my day. It is easy to get sucked into the negativity that can dominates our lives. If we can’t transform it, we will transmit it.
By knowing that we will be asking ourselves this Kindness question, we will start to pay attention and actively look for acts of Kindness. We will become Aware of what is happening around us. We will stay Present. We will see that acts of Kindness are occurring again and again throughout the day…even in these divisive times.
When we are Present and Aware of Kindness, we are better equipped to transform the Negativity into Kindness. We are more likely to commit Acts of Kindness, and in doing so, we will transmit it to others.
I ask them to “Tell us” about an act of Kindness, instead of asking them “if” they saw and act of Kindness, because I know that they witnessed such acts. By having them tell us, they must examine their day. Hopefully, this will teach them to be Aware what is happening around them, stay Present in the moment, Appreciate others, and to Be Kind.