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Thoughts from Janice – February 2011

Janice biehnWe’ve been trying something new in our house – Family Member of the Day. I think I stole the idea from a movie, but rest assured, our family has put our own spin on it.
Here’s how it works. While sitting around the dinner table or before bed slouched in front of the television, each of us states our case for why we feel we should be elected FMOTD. It’s actually quite empowering to force yourself to remember all that you accomplished in one day and tell each other about it. Here’s a sampling:
Younger daughter: “I did all my homework without being asked, put away my clean clothes and scored the winning goal in my soccer game at lunch.”
Older daughter: “I was asked to make a speech to represent the school and practised my piano.”
Husband: “I made the girls’ lunches, made dinner and drove them to their lessons.”
Me: “I took the dog for a very long walk and led a successful meeting at work.”
We all commended each other for these achievements, that only just the day before seemed not that impressive at all. What fine parenting skills I’ve demonstrated, I thought to myself. My children will develop such great confidence. Then we all voted with a show of hands. The winner got their name on the wall for the day. There were no material rewards, just glory…
All was going well until the third day of FMOTD. The girls’ competitive spirits began to leak through (it was really only a matter of time, and perhaps due to a lack of sleep). “Big deal,” one scoffed at the other’s list of accomplishments. “Like that was hard,” replied the other sister.
“STOP!” I yelled, ruining my chance of being voted FMOTD.
“You’re ruining it!!!”
I was tempted to cancel FMOTD, but I hadn’t won yet, and frankly, I deserved it. “I’ll give you one more chance if we can all agree that there will be no dissing of anyone’s achievements.” They agreed. I won. Case closed.

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