Monday, September 9, 2013

Bright Spot Challenge - Week 2 - Getting out the door

Welcome to week 2 (the challenge begins here)!  One of my favorite stories from Switch by Chip and Dan Heath is about fighting malnutrition in Vietnam.  Apparently, one aid worker was given 6 months to make some noticeable change in this huge problem - or else.  So, he decide to find the healthiest children - by height and weight - in the villages he was assigned to work with.  He then spoke with their parents to determine what they did differently with their children - everyone in the village had just about the same resources.  He found these families employed two key changes:

1.  They fed their young children four times a day (smaller amounts) instead of the traditional twice a day. The child didn't receive more food - just smaller portions spread throughout the day.

2.  They included foods not typically considered culturally appropriate for young children - sweet potato pieces and bits of fish.  These were common in adult food but not fed to children.

Well, he saw that these were small changes that all families in the community could make.  Finding and replicating the bright spots made a huge difference.  It's amazing what these two small things did to transform a community and ultimately save lives. Read the book to find out just what a dramatic change it made and what they did to help parents fight malnutrition.

Week 2 - Bright Spot Challenge - Getting out the door

Our family is a little crazy this week as we celebrate two birthdays (and the arrival of our new niece) while also starting our second coop.  So, as fall really gets under way we will have more late nights and early mornings than our laid back summer schedule did.  So today I challenge you to think about the bright spots involved in getting everyone out the door.  Honestly, this causes a LOT of tension in many households.  It impacts the atmosphere and culture of your home.  The clock ticks; you have deadlines; the sock remains missing; anger mounts.  Now, stop, breathe and for a moment, think about what is going well as you head out the door - even if it seems small.  How can that bright spot be used to encourage other changes in your "out the door" routine?

I can think of two things that have helped us.

1.  My husband's wish - a place for keys and wallets/ purses (apparently he lost his wallet for about a week in college behind a dresser).  After many years of marriage he has convinced me to follow his lead.  Although I don't always put them where they belong, I have gotten much better over the past few weeks (now that we put up the hanging rack that sat on the floor for quite a few months - I digress).

2.  My husband and sons unloading the dishwasher.  This is one less task for me in the morning and I really appreciate it.  I like to get the morning dishes out of the sink before we leave.

Again, think of small things that help you get out the door more easily - whether it's morning routine or weekend outings.  Feel free to share so that we can learn from each others small victories!  Maybe there is a routine or habit you have heard is a good idea - why not try it out this week and see if it works for you.

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