As we worked with our learners this fall to craft our brit (communal expectations) anew through the lens of our unit studying Shema, we have been talking a lot about what it means to love and to show love. Our students came up with this brit text that we have all agreed to rely on each other to do:
- Speak with respect.
- Only one voice at a time.
- Give each other the benefit of the doubt.
- Treat the space with respect.
- Think before we move.
- Check in before touching—respect the response.
- Be yourself.
- Help each other.
- Include everyone.
- Love each other.
As we crafted that list of 10 expectations (where each one encompasses more ideas our learners hold dear), we realized that if we could all remember that we are loved, the rest would be easy and obviously the right choice.
So, let’s take another look at how those expectations work when we remember that we’re loved:
- Speak with respect—Easy! Everyone will speak to me with respect, too.
- Only one voice at a time. – Happily! I know everyone is listening.
- Give each other the benefit of the doubt. – Of course! I know we’re all doing the best we can.
- Treat the space with respect. – Naturally. I want to take care of a place where I’m so loved.
- Think before we move. –Yup. I wouldn’t want to accidentally hurt any of these people who love me.
- Check in before touching—respect the response. –Obviously. They do that for me, too.
- Be yourself. –No reason not to. I know everyone will love me for who I am.
- Help each other. –Definitely! It’s fun to help people who love me.
- Include everyone. –For sure! I want to make sure everyone knows they’re loved.
- Love each other. –So much love. I’ll look for ways to show it.
The question I was left with was this: How might our parenting look different if we could, at all times, remember that we are loved? We spend so much time thoughtfully showing our children that we love them—but do we take the time to remember that we are loved? What moments could be different if we did?
- How is the hard-to-wake child easier to handle if we remember we’re loved?
- How could we have more patience for the child who doesn’t want to eat any food that is in the house?
- How could I receive a child who is vying for my attention when I’m trying to get dinner ready?
- How do we prioritize time for things we need, as adults?
- Is our emotional regulation different with this in mind?
- Is our task management and prioritization changed by this approach?
We made rainbow colored bracelets that say “LOVED” on one side and “Makom Community” on the other to help us carry a physical reminder of this very important learning with us on our adventures. We gave them out to all our students, AND we made them in adult sizes, too! We’ll have them available for you when you come to pick up your children in the next few weeks. Let us know if you’d like to have a reminder of how loved you are, too.