This month, we are talking about our second Big

Idea of the year: initiative! We believe this value has the

potential to change the entire dynamics of your home. for

the better. So carve out some time at the end of this week

to practice the definition together so it not only becomes a

household term but a household way of life!


Locate 10 post-it notes (or 10 pieces of scrap

paper with a roll of tape on the back). Write out the following

10 words on the post-it notes, one word per post-it: "Initiative,

seeing, what, needs, to, be, done, and, doing, it". Make

a pile of the words and scramble them face down. Stand in a

line, about 15-20 feet from a blank wall in your home. The first

person in line has to pick a word from the pile, hop across the

room and stick it to the opposite wall. Then, run back and tag

the next person in line before getting in the back of the line.

Continue until all the words are placed in the correct order on

the opposite wall and read out the value and its definition together

as a family. Play again, this time with a timer and try to

beat your previous times. Or, if you have a family of 6 or more,

divide into two teams to compete against each other. (Note:

this variation will require two sets of ten post-its).


Dig a little deeper this week with these discussion

starters about initiative:

  • What is the chore or job that you're expected to do around the house?

  • Do you remember to do the chore on your own or notice when it needs to be done, or do you have to be reminded?

  • What would happen if you refused to do it or were too busy to notice it needed to be done?

  • What chore or job have you done this week on your own that nobody but you knows about?

  • What is hard about showing initiative?

  • Is there a problem that you see in the world that you think you should help with?

  • Make up a pretend "to do" list of what it would take to solve that problem.


Now that you know what we say initiative means, and

you know what initiative means to you, check out this hilarious

poem about one little girl who refused to show initiative!

In Shel Silverstein's poem "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout," Sarah

is unwilling to take the garbage out, no matter how many

times her dad asks her to. Eventually the garbage piles up

as high as the sky, drives everyone away from her house, and

covers the entire United States with trash! Of course, the

poem isn't true, but it does make you wonder what would

happen if no one ever took their trash out!

To read this classic poem, go to your local library, bookstore

or simply type "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout" into your web

search engine.


There are so many fun ways to learn how to take initiative

and do what needs to be done. When you really think

about it, initiative is just like a big detective game. So grab

your magnifying glass (or just your regular glasses) and go on

a family scavenger hunt this week!

Whether you see it or not, there are opportunities to take

initiative everywhere you go. Some are really common. Some

opportunities only come up every once in a while.

Here's a list of common and not-so-common things you may

see that spark your initiative side. Your job is to open your

eyes and see how many of the items on the list you can spot

this week. Carry the list around with you and every time you

check off an item, you get 2 points. Every time you check off

an item and do something about it you get 5 points. Remember

to keep your eyes open everywhere you go because you

can take initiative .anywhere!

Melinda Moore

Guidance Counselor