As the year draws to a close, it’s the perfect time for reflection and celebration of the journey we’ve taken together as a family. As a mom, I find immense joy in recognizing how my kids displayed kindness, curiosity, inclusion, and courage throughout the year. Good grades and athletic achievements are great and all, but it’s really these traits that I hope they repeat year after year. However, this is often easier said than done as these instances of kindness or courage are harder to pinpoint than an “A+” on a spelling test.
Reflecting on how your kids showcased these traits is a wonderful way to highlight their personal growth and encourage values that will stay with them throughout their lives. Here are a few tips for reflecting on and celebrating your kids’ growth at the end of the year:
Make it fun and festive! Send an invitation to your kids so they can not only come prepared to reflect on the year, but also get excited about it! Decorate, prepare snacks, bake a cake – throw a party!
Begin the review by expressing gratitude for the time spent together as a family throughout the year. Highlight specific moments that brought joy, laughter, and a sense of togetherness. This sets a positive tone for the discussion!
Encourage your kids to share instances where they demonstrated kindness. Reflect on moments when they helped a friend, shared a toy, comforted a sibling, showed empathy towards someone in need, or participated in charitable activities. This not only boosts their confidence but also reinforces the importance of empathy and compassion.
Explore the curious side of your kids by discussing their interests and passions. Share in their excitement about new hobbies, books, or projects they undertook. Cultivating curiosity is essential for lifelong learning, and acknowledging their efforts encourages a love for exploration.
Discuss inclusivity by recalling instances where your kids made an effort to include others who are different from themselves, whether at school, in the neighborhood, or during family gatherings. Emphasize the importance of creating a welcoming environment for individuals with all abilities and how these actions contribute to building strong, supportive communities.
Pat your kids on the back for how they displayed courage throughout the year. Did they confront a fear? Do something despite being anxious about it? Perform in front of a crowd? Help them remember how courageous they were despite their doubt or fear and how they overcame it. Whatever the courageous step, congratulating them for their effort, rather than their ability is a great way to encourage a growth mindset and nurture courage.
An end-of-year reflection centered on kindness, generosity, curiosity, inclusivity and courage is a heartwarming way to celebrate your children’s growth. By focusing on these values, you not only reinforce positive behavior but also instill lifelong lessons that contribute to the development of compassionate, empathetic individuals.
As a mom, I can attest to the joy and fulfillment that come from witnessing my children’s journey of becoming kind-hearted, curious, inclusive, growth-minded individuals. Here’s to another year of growth, love, and shared moments as a family!
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