Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The One Less Rule: A Game {Or Maybe A Way Of Life}

When we buy extras or do something special for our children I tend to think in terms of, "one for everybody." When I think about why I have that tendency I know that it is, not only to make it as easy as possible on us, but  more so, to make my children feel as comfortable and happy as possible. Yet, in my desire to make my children comfortable and happy or even to make our life easier, I inadvertently train them to be selfish and I withhold from them opportunities to learn to be intentional about giving and thinking outside of them selves. Now I am not going so far as to suggest that we should not or will never give each of our children something for themselves. However, the thought coaxes the idea for a game, a practice, that takes our focus off of our selves and puts it on the less fortunate.

I call it The One Less Rule.

We intentionally buy or give one less item than the number of children we have...

not exactly half so we share in twos, making it easy...

not just one and we all share the one, making it fair...

but one less, so only one is without...

because in reality our children have abundantly, not the other way around. In our great country the majority will always have plenty and the minority will be easily looked down upon or overlooked. The one with less or without could be in the way of material things, but also in self esteem, status, popularity, health, etc. But where ever the poverty, we train our children to be watchful of and considering always the one who has less or is without.

So they'll take turns - being the one without and they will go out of their way to find the one without and then be the first to give their token. The reality is that it's no fun to be the isolated one without, even in a game, but our goal would be that the one without never feels isolated in their poverty. Rather plentiful on the receiving end of kindness and generosity. That is what we hope to instill in our children. 

May what starts as a game become a practice and the practice become a way of life, for this is the training ground for our children to become men and women of upright and godly character.

Happy Thanksgiving! May this day be filled with abundance and generosity, and may we never forget our beginnings.

Sharing with Imperfect Prose and Grace Cafe


  1. Theresa - I think this is a wonderway of teaching your children selflessness. Many blessings to you and your family this Thanksgiving.

  2. Kids do need to learn about giving and respect others.
    what a profound prose.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. The holiday's, a time of such abundance, is a great time to teach our children consideration of others. Great idea. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  4. This is a great idea. One of the challenges of raising our children, too, came from wanting to teach them a sense of scope and privilege. It's too late for my children, but I will sure pass this on to young moms I know.

  5. oh wow. i needed this today. i hadn't realized how easy it is to want to give, give, give to your children. this one-less idea is excellent.

  6. I LOVE your "one less" idea.. sometimes our "giving" actually takes away from the true riches we want our children to have. What a great place to start.. one less.

    Hope your Thanksgiving was sweet!


I love hearing from you. Thank you for taking a moment to leave a comment!