Wow! These last two weeks have been so busy, haven’t they? Many of you will be glad all the hard work is over. Buying gifts, preparing special meals, entertaining relatives, and getting your schedules back in operation can be downright wearisome. Celebrating can be so much fun!

Now we settle back into reality. I’d like to suggest, if you can let your imagination wander for a moment, that we keep the attitude of celebration going on a constant basis. You’re saying to yourself, “This guy’s crazy! The heat and sun of his Florida holiday has given him sunstroke!” Well, that may be so, but give me an ear for a moment.

I woke up and had air in my lungs this morning. I’m going to celebrate it. I slept in a warm house overnight. I’m going to celebrate it. I drove to work in a comfortable and reliable car this morning. I have an incredible wife. I have two amazing children who are doing well in life. They have given us five healthy, intelligent and active grandsons. I have indisputably excellent health for my age. I have a job that millions would die for. I have the opportunity to speak into children’s and adults’ lives. I have the chance to make a difference in this world. I have the freedom to worship as I wish. I live in relative safety. I have a mother who turns 100 years old this September. I have so many wonderful friends whose lives I can bless who, in turn, enrich my life so much. And on and on. Nobody can tell me that I haven’t got anything to celebrate!

I have a suggestion. Celebrate difference in your home. Each of your children is different. Right? Celebrate that difference! Whenever you or your child achieves something, celebrate it. Better still is a monthly activity you can introduce into your family life. Let’s call it ‘King or Queen of the Month’. The winner of this award should be based on your children’s attention to chores, behavior etc. They must deserve this, and feel free to not have a King or Queen on some occasions if nobody deserves it). Have a family meeting where you announce which of your children will have that title bestowed upon them.

Celebrate during the last weekend in the month. Have a special setting at the table, one set of different plates and a celebratory garment or hat that is worn for the occasion. The chosen child gets to pick their favorite meal for the night or weekend. They may be relieved of ONE of their chores for a specified time. They may suggest a video/movie of their choice for the family to watch. Each family member thinks of a positive thing they want to mention about the King/Queen and, in turn, speaks it out.

If report cards are really good, or your child does something you consider is worth reinforcing, celebrate. If your child does a chore outside of their regular ones without being asked, tell them how much you appreciate it. By doing these things you are not spoiling your kids, because discipline needs to be in place, too. You will be creating a positive home environment and, in my experience, I have seen dramatic changes in children’s behavior and attitudes. Try it. If it doesn’t work for you, throw it out.

Written by Brian Burgess, School Counselor, PPE, Nashville TN (These are just my opinions, not those of PPE)