"You are IMPORTANT! What you do, MATTERS!" I try to tell my kids in CCE that every Sunday. I want them to know, although they are young and seemingly insignificant in this vast universe, they have an impact on the environment they live in. And, as it turns out, the kind of impact you have is completely up to you. So, is it going to be positive or negative? Are you going get angry or show compassion? The choice is yours.
With my own children I'm a little more involved as we interact on a daily basis. This morning, my daughter wanted to put her own lunch together. Not only did I tell her I thought that was wonderful, I also let her know how she was effecting her environment: "Do you know how helpful that is to me? It sure helps me a lot. Let's look and make sure all the food groups are represented. Do you know the food groups? Well they are..." My life is not an after-school special. I'm not always on top of things (more often not!). But I think being aware of those opportunities to remind our kids what an important impact they have on the world helps them decide how they want to fit into this vast puzzle to which we all belong. I have minty fresh breath because I Holly announced: "I'm going to go get dressed now. But first I'm going to brush my teeth and wash my hands!" This is not a usual occurrence and may never happen again! So, I said: "What a great idea. I'm going to go do the same thing. Thanks for being such a great leader!" Tomorrow may be the "comeonewehavetogowhydon'tyouhaveyourshoesonyet?" type morning but today it is good and I seized the opportunity.
If you implant their importance, they'll have that banked for when your leadership isn't so stellar. Good luck!!