Putting Love First

Karina Volpe

I’ve read about how teaching your kids to help out around the house, clean their room, and do chores helps them become better adults. I’ve tried this before, using nagging and complaining, but that often left me feeling frustrated. So, I thought I’d try a new approach—to come from love and detachment.

A friend suggested I try the Fifteen Times spiritual exercise. In this exercise, you write a goal or positive phrase fifteen times each day. This opens you to Divine Spirit and helps you move toward your goal.

I chose to write, “I am love” fifteen times every day. I found this helped me focus on love in all I do, even when unpleasant things came up. Also, to help me make better decisions, throughout the day I would ask myself, What would love do?

I did this exercise and began showing my daughter each task with love. I no longer told her, “This is your chore” or said, “You must help around the house.” I’d simply show her loving tasks: folding her clothes, setting the table, washing dishes, or picking up things from the floor. She mostly copied what I showed her. Some days she did more, even without me asking her. Other days playing was way more important. But putting the love in front of every task helps me put more love into my day and into my relationship with my daughter.

Would you like to try the Fifteen Times exercise for yourself or with your children? View or print the activity sheet (or, for more exercises, navigate to Family Activities > Activity Sheets).