Super-Star Values? Teach your kids how to be REAL Super-stars!

“You’re a SUPER-STAR! That is What you are!”

Mommy Manders’ SUPER-STAR SYSTEM!

In our star-struck society, help your child and family stay focused on the good values (not fame and achievement, not accolades or looks), but kindness and generosity, love, friendship and family. Help them to learn that it’s what’s on the inside that counts! That your family values character more than achievement. Start modeling and focusing on a healthy life-work-family balance for the health of your entire family, starting with yourself first.

Use my “Super-Star” system for the whole family! Stay grounded and help your child maintain a healthy perspective as they grow and face increasing pressures at school, from pre-school into high school. Teach them these values that define “success” in a new way as you ask yourselves 5 questions at the end of each day – at bedtime or at the dinner table, or even at a family “check-in” once a week. Write this in the middle of your star: What did you DO today for…and list these as the points:

  1. Yourself?

  2. Your family?

  3. Your future?

  4. Someone else?

  5. For FUN?

(Notice the active word: DO…it connotes intention and embodied action.) Write each one on the point of the star, and place it around your house, in the car, to remind the members of your family what is really important, no matter how old you are.

1. What did you DO today for….Yourself It’s so important to teach children to love themselves first, same for overwhelmed mommies. Did you ever notice that that’s the foundation to the greatest commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” You must have more than enough love for yourself in order to share some with others…So, did your childrent take a nap, eat healthy foods, give themselves a hug, say kind words to themselves in a  mirror, take a nice relaxing bath, enjoy some exercise, etc…Did you do any of that? Did you let go of guilt, forgive yourself, give yourself a break, coffee with a friend, an early morning walk?

2. What did you DO today for…FAMILY? (Ask child) Did you fold the laundry? Empty the dishwasher? Help cook dinner? Earn money at work? Lead the family in a song or prayer? Start teaching them at a young age to participate in the family chores, sharing the load as well as sharing love. In discussing this, it will help them to feel included, important, help them to recognize how even the small deeds they do impact the family for good, and to appreciate the contributions of other family members, as well. Everyone has something to contribute! In the family, in the class, at work, in society, in life…it’s an important lesson.

3. What did you DO today for your future? “Future” is a difficult concept for young children, but  as they grow into elementary school and beyond, chances are they will feel TOO much pressure and emphasis put on “future”. One of the main points of this “Star-System” is to find a healthier balance than the all-consuming pressure that society/ schools can place on growing children to focus on FUTURE. So, make it 1/5th of the equation instead of the whole thing! For young kids, this really just means playing, learning, and growing every day…it means experiencing new things, making discoveries about the world, having downtime to create and daydream. It definitely means having a grown-up read aloud to you every day! ALL of these FUN things lay a strong foundation for a successful future! How does this apply to you? It applies to your intentional investments in relationships, finances, education, aspirations, etc…

4. What did you DO today for someone else? We all know how great it feels to do something for someone else – make this part of the “super-star” daily checklist! It’s not about looking beautiful on the outside, it’s about being a beautiful person on the inside…Life is not about being the best, It’s about how you treat other people, and the love you give every day. Focus on this, model it, talk about what others do for you and your family.

5. What did you DO today for FUN? Especially for us busy moms and for those kids in high school who are overwhelmed with pressure, it’s SO important to do something for FUN every day! This changes as we grow, as we age, but not always – running through a sprinkler is fun at every age!

There are lots of ways you can incorporate this system in your daily life. You can simple refer to it as you offer specific praise, as you label your child’s behavior. “You opened the door for someone – what a super-star!”…”You ate your veggies – way to take care of your body, Super-star!” You can give out star stickers every now and then, or scribble out starts to count at the end of the week to redeem for “Dollar Store” points or allowance…focus on the good stuff, label it, and you’ll get more of it. Write down what those stars were for so you can talk about them when you count them up together – “You jump-roped for 15 minutes!”…”You sang at the nursing home – what a super-star!”…”You helped Mommy with dinner -that was so important to our family!“…”You took a nap – that was so good for your body and brain!” My hope in starting this system at a young age with my kiddos is to make sure they know that “in our family”, we don’t care MOST about material stuff, about grades, about popularity, about status. We care about hard work, teamwork, using your gifts to help others, doing your best, and staying happy and healthy. What are your family’s “Super-Star” values? Talk about it with your kids…