Getting our two boys to bed on time is always a challenge in our household. When they were younger there were so many wonderful choices of great books to read but I've been struggling for a while to find a story that both of them enjoy or that can keep their attention. Recently, the boys have asked to have a chat before bedtime. At first I felt this was a usual ploy to allow them to stay up later, but to be honest I really enjoy this special end of day time together. For a change they are still (ish) and want to just be with me. Very special.
It was yesterday whilst listening to a podcast that I had an idea. All this great information that I'm hearing every day from podcasts like "where there's smoke", "dear sugars" and now "the one you feed" - why not pass on some of this information to my children? Especially information that I know will help them. It also got me wondering why we no longer have fables or stories designed to deliver a good message about life and how to live. This is something I want to research more. I remember hearing stories in my childhood that really did help mould my more positive attributes. This is how I wanted to lead our bedtime chats.
Our first "coaching chat" was borrowed from 'the one you feed' podcast created and produced by Eric Zimmer and Chris Forbes. Their podcast is based on an old cherokee Indian parable.
An old Grandfather told his grandson: "My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed and resentment. The other is good. It is joy, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and bravery."
The boy thought about it, and asked, "Grandfather, which wolf wins?"
The old man quietly replied, "The one you feed."
After reading this to my sons I asked them what they thought it meant. They both understood it very well after we discussed some of the meanings of the words which they were unsure of. By the end of our chat I felt they had learnt something new about themselves and how much control they really have over who they are and who they become. They also both went to sleep quickly and soundly which is a rare treat in this household. Maybe try it with your kids.