Today is Ash Wednesday and the first day of what Catholics refer to as Lent. During this time Catholics will normally commit to sacrifice one thing from their life in the weeks to come until Easter Sunday. For adults things like giving up social networking, alcohol, coffee, or television rank among the most popular sacrifices. Many parents find though it may be a little more difficult to get their children on board with giving up even one of their most favorite things.
Lent doesn't always have to be about sacrifice. While giving up candy, television, or video games is ideal, children may also be encouraged to make a positive change in their life for Lent. Parents who are looking for tips on ways to incorporate a more positive lifestyle for their children may choose to do the following: volunteer at a local food bank or soup kitchen, make a conscious effort to go to bed on time every night, they can also work on doing their chores and homework on time without being told.
Activities such as volunteering will instill a greater feel of community not only for the child but the parent as well. Remember parents, children learn by watching how you react to things. Putting a positive spin on giving up your favorite things and doing good for others will influence your children greatly. Lastly, try not to focus on what you are giving up, but more so what you are gaining through these "out of the box" experiences and sacrifices.