Stories are an effective way to share values and beliefs. I used to say to my children, ‘you should have done this…You should be grateful for that….’ In essence, I was directing them about what they should do and how they should feel. Nobody likes to be told what to do or how to feel! It’s an ineffective way to change behavior.
It’s immeasurably more effective to use a personal story for motivating the change you want. If you want your children to be more magnanimous with their skills, their time, their thoughtfulness, share a story about how someone improved your life by doing something special for you. Or, share what you did, no matter how small, to improve someone’s day. When could you share your story? At the dinner table, in place of a bedtime story, or as I often do, before putting money in the charity box.
We are all role models, performing good deeds every day, but often without a tradition or special way to share our kind acts with those we love. Telling your story is a way to pass on your family values as well as be remembered by your loved ones as the special person you are. You will not be remembered for taking children to soccer games and dance lessons, but how YOU made a difference in another persons life.
Share the story of how you went out of your way at work to help someone; share what you did to impact the life of a stranger. No matter how big or small your act, it’s important. Share your story with us in the comment section!