I read a helpful parenting tip a while back that stuck with me–one of those things that makes so much sense, I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before.
An expert encouraged parents to ditch the typical, “How was your day?” when asking about school, for example, in favor of more specific questions like, “How were you kind today?” or “What did you do to make someone smile today?”
How much sense does that make? Not only does it make the question much easier for a child to answer compared to an open-ended question, but it also reminds them to keep kindness top of mind in their daily lives. For someone whose “How was your day” is met with a long pause and then, “Can we go to McDonald’s?”, this tip is going in the Try-It-Right-Away Jar.
And I couldn’t help but be reminded of that very simple yet powerful piece of advice when I was recently listening to Oprah’s Super Soul podcast. Her guest was Jack Canfield, founder of the outrageously popular “Chicken Soup for the Soul” anthologies. You may not know (I didn’t until now) that he is also a life coach and mentor; and on this particular episode he was talking with Oprah about how to honor your soul’s calling in life–a fascinating concept in and of itself.
But in the course of their conversation, he dropped another powerful suggestion. He said he asks himself one question at the end of the day–a question that helps him to be a better, more understanding person. At night, Canfield told Oprah that he asks himself, “How could I have loved more today?”
How wonderful is that sentiment?
“How could I have loved more today?”
Of course this doesn’t have to mean “love” in the traditional, romantic sense. It can be something small–not honking your horn if someone doesn’t immediately drive when the light turns green, or choosing to smile at a stranger. Or, it can mean something bigger, like reaching out to that friend with whom things got a little weird to break the ice again.
Loving more. That’s something I’ll be keeping in mind at the start of this new year. How can I respond with love? How can I give more positivity, even in moments of stress? It’s sometimes a challenge, but one that will pay off with more happiness for everyone in the end.
What will you be doing this year to make yourself better? Do you have any resolutions?
Sonni Abatta is a mom of three and runs this Orlando lifestyle and mom blog. Want to work together? Reach out! Sonni@SonniAbatta.com.