The Fight Box :: My Family’s New Year’s Resolution

The Fight Box :: My Family's New Year's Resolution | Houston Moms Blog

My husband gave me this homemade “fight box” surprise for Valentine’s Day 2018 {containing a nice bottle of Cabernet}. I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Neither is my husband. So the fact that he took the time to plan this out and make it for me was intensely special. The meaning of it is to deposit loving notes and reasons why we love one another in the box, and when we get into an argument, we open the box and read through our reminders of what’s truly important. What a touching gift!

It’s been collecting dust ever since.

This is not to say that we don’t fight and that when making up we don’t remind one another of all the reasons we love each other, but we are in the throes of toddler parenting. We are a united front against angry little invaders who attempt to overthrow the rule of law in our housedom. There isn’t much time for fighting. My husband and I may exchange snarky comments, but when our son launches his full plate of home-cooked goodness across the room, we have a visual reminder why we love one another…we need serious back-up in this insane phase.

But here’s my hope for myself and my family in 2019 and for years to come – this box gets much more usage, whether in spirit or in actual physical practice. My hope is that we consistently remind ourselves and those around us why they are important to us and express gratitude for all that is good.

A friend shared an internet meme that stuck with me through the years. It told of an African tribe that takes any wrongdoers, outcasts, or irresponsible members and places them in the center of a circle surrounded by their tribe. The tribe then carefully relays to the individual all of the things that are good about the transgressor. They recount in detail the positive acts and traits this individual has contributed to the tribe. They lift the person up in love.

The visual of this tribal tradition really touched me, and whether it is true or not {as internet memes can be} wasn’t important to me. It was a practice that I thought was beautiful and simply right. People can forget their special gifts that they possess. We all do at times. People can easily drive themselves into negative spaces and lose their way out. It’s happened to me. We need to be ambushed with all that is good and right about us some times…many times.

And our kids? The ones that talk back to us, the kids that refuse our cooking that we labored over, shopped for, and lovingly prepared for them? Those little beings that bicker, bite and hit their siblings?

Yep, them too.

And our parents / in-laws / sisters / brothers / cousins that disagree with our views of the world, that are snappy or insulting, that commit acts that we truly feel are unjust or irresponsible?

Yep, them too.

Our neighbors / co-workers / the rude lady checking me out at the grocery store / the IRS / our politicians?

Them as well.

In 2019, I’m committed to celebrating people’s strengths rather than dwelling on their flaws. It starts in my home with our small family unit.  This also doesn’t mean that I won’t discipline my children and teach them right and wrong. It also doesn’t mean that I won’t be tactfully honest in my opinions with family members or the rude lady at the grocery store. But either to myself or better yet, aloud to them, I will share the things I admire about them, good deeds they have done, or strengths they exhibit.

I wish for my kids to grow up doing the same and for it to be so ingrained in them that it is instinctual.

I don’t expect to be perfect at this. You will likely still find me cussing someone who cut me off in the parking lot and even having a full-blown spat with my husband about why he didn’t unload the dishwasher. But the Whitaker family will try – and there is beauty in the attempt.

We wish you a very happy new year!


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