How To Raise Best Friends. Hint: you'll love this sweet secret!
The 7 Essentials: #2 - A Culture of Honor
Have you ever wondered if your children will ever stop fighting? Candy treats transformed my home from chaos to order and taught my children to be best friends! Are you shocked?
My kiddos were hyperactive so when I say candy, I mean, micro-bites or whatever sense of normalcy I was fighting for would have been consumed by the fuel of sugar. Micro-bites were enough, however, to nurture the desired behaviors of honor that I was after.
The second building block in the Hierarchy of People Empowerment (RHOPE) strategy, is a culture of honor. This answers the question, “Who are we?” When children learn to value others, you're actually teaching them how to value themselves. This disarms peer pressure because children who feel valued and express value for others don’t feel a need to prove themselves. The pressure to “fit in” loses its power over them.
Your Action Item
Your action item is to set a standard of honor in your own home. If you can establish honor here, you can establish it anywhere!
Siblings are the first to push each other’s buttons and put each other down. It's life's earliest arena of survival of the fittest. As you pour out affirmations on your children, however, children gain the security of knowing they are approved of. Your example teaches them how to honor others. It's a learned skill that must be practiced until it becomes a habit.
This will take some time, but as you draw new boundaries you will see the atmosphere of your home change from disrespectful to respectful, and from harshness to kindness.
Did I mention, this can take some time with siblings?!
Kids are the masters of put downs but when you, as the parent, step in and say, “Uh, Uh, we don’t do that here. We only say nice things.” It establishes an expectation and a boundary.
I encourage you not to focus on how to stop the harsh words as much as how to reward the kind words. When my kids were growing up I gave a single skittle as an “Awesome Award" when a child reported one of their siblings doing a kind act or saying a kind word to them. Both children received a skittle, one for their kindness, the other for appreciating it.
It’s amazing how many nice things children can do when they get candy for it. I know it was mostly fake when we first started this, but in time, those acts of kindness became natural responses.
All my best,
Parent Note: For every Heavenly principal there's an earthly application; like the two sides of a coin. You can apply one aspect or the other depending on your world view, but when both are applied the results are extraordinary. There are 7 Essential Elements required for children to be emotionally safe that happen to correspond with 7 critical aspects of our identity. They are intrinsic by nature. When these are satisfied, your children are much less likely to succumb to peer pressure because they are empowered with tools to meet their emotional (intrinsic/spiritual) needs.
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