Good character values infused in the community are like locally sourced fruit and vegetables: everyone benefits, from the producer to the consumer. With many of us likely staying closer to home this summer, we have the opportunity to both enjoy local produce and sustain our communities with simple values. Here are 10 ideas for how your family can live our InDeCoRe values this summer so their impact and benefit can be seen and felt in your community:
- For children: Discuss how your children can show care by helping an elderly family member or neighbor who may not be able to leave the house during this difficult time. They could offer to help in their yard or bring their trash to the curb weekly. Whatever it is, encourage them to think about how they can show care to other members of their community.
- For the family: Develop a rotating “project” to care for, whether it is an animal, person, place, or thing (such as watering a plant or feeding a family pet). In whatever way they can, have everyone make a caring contribution.
- For children: Encourage your children to do something that may push them out of their comfort zone this summer. Trying a new hobby or working on a challenging math problem will help them persevere and realize that it takes courage to try something new.
- For the family: Brainstorm a family goal in which everyone participates, such as running a 5K together. Striving toward a goal takes courage and commitment.
- For children: This summer is a better time than ever to discuss the importance of resilience in our lives as a family. The last few months may have come with some disappointments. Validate these feelings for your children, but also highlight what they have learned and gained during this time. This exploration and discussion around how we respond to adversity is something that our children will long benefit from.
- For the family: Decide on a family adventure, project, or outing and purposefully leave it open-ended. Let it roll with everyone keeping a creative mindset, flexible attitude, an eye toward adventure, and (importantly) a sense of humor.
- For children: Gratitude is a daily practice and one that we can emulate for our children. By showing gratitude for little actions or words throughout the day, children will observe and internalize these behaviors.
- For the family: Create a ritual of gratitude practiced daily, such as a blessing before or after a meal, prayers in the morning or night, or naming one thing you are thankful for each day.
- For children: Challenge your kids to push their interpretation of respect. Encourage them to show respect to their belongings and environment by helping clean up their toys or getting outside and helping you plant some new flowers.
- For the family: Create a collage with everyone adding personal experiences, witnessed events, and community pictures that demonstrate the multiple facets of respect.