Green Love Bug

This is the story of how a Green Love Bug changed our drives.

We grew up in the “punch bug” days, you know see a “love bug” and punch someone.
We also outgrew that stage in our lives.
Thankfully.
A few years ago I foolishly taught my kids “punch bug” and soon after regretted that lesson.
Soon I was driving peacefully when someone would yell out “OUCH _____ hit me” which would then be followed by crazy laughing and someone saying “Oh, green love bug” and more laughter.  If that was not bad enough, we drive a 13 passenger van, you know the type the youth group vans, which means I can only reach the legs kicking me and the center console, the problem with that is they would punch me, while driving, which was bad.  And it hurt.  I began praying for no Love Bugs but there were a few we saw no matter which route we traveled.   I realized that if they all had to outgrow this stage than I was going to be punched for about 18 more years, and I would have to listen to someone being punched for 18 more years.
I had reached my breaking point…

I had an idea!
I was so excited with my idea!
Love Bugs would become just that a LOVE bug.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 it says we need to “encourage one another and build each other up”
Our LOVE bugs were going to be a time to encourage and build each other up.

Fast Forward to the next car ride.  We were all in the van coming to the point where I knew a love bug was.  I called to everyone and announced that from NOW ON when we see a Love Bug it will be different.
We are going to play a game as a family.
Our New LOVE BUG game goes like this~
Someone calls a love bug and then they choose a person
{they were all a little leery}
When you choose a person they must compliment you
{What?!?!?!}
AND
NO Punching {to which I received cheers and complaints, you can guess which child was doing which thing}

That is it.
~call a love bug
~call a person
~receive a compliment

Sounds simple enough right?
Well NOT to my kids…
We had to define a compliment, they all knew what one was but suddenly became quite confused
They must say something kind or complimentary to the caller,   they CAN say I Love You but cannot always say that, they CAN compliment an outfit or piece of clothing {but they must identify that clothing, J would say “I like your shoes” to everyone but when asked had no idea what shoes the person had on, no go for that anymore}  The bigger kids need to not make it all about “I”  as in “I like when you play with me, I like when you empty the dishwasher, I like when you…”  but instead need to word it “that was kind when you loaded the dishwasher, or thank you for loading the dishwasher”  You get the idea…  We try to compliment everything, their character, their hygiene, their manners, their grades, their skill.  But we try to keep it genuine, we all know when someone is making it up, saying anything just to get it over with.
Which lead to the rule if it was a double~sided compliment as in “I’m glad you were on time, for once” then you had to give another one…
Then we had to give a time restriction because C and Keith did not like the game they would just not talk the rest of the way to our destination thus getting out of giving one, when the love bugs would pile up they would cry foul.  NOW we have to give them before getting out of the car.
Our road trip added another rule, we cannot bombard someone,  R and O are excellent love bug finders and would call someone, usually Keith or C relentlessly knowing that we were going to be in the car FOREVER we decided that 3 calls consecutively was bombarding but 2 was not, so they spread the wealth.

The Love Bug Game
~call a love bug
~call a person
~receive a genuine compliment
~don’t fake the compliment
~don’t wait too long for giving the compliment
~don’t bombard an individual

We have played this game for 2+ years now and for the most part we all still love it.  There are a few {who shall remain unnamed} that struggle with complimenting and there are a few who really need words of encouragement.  It is a win~win for both, the ones who struggle are made aware and the ones who need it are given encouragement.

Here is your warning If You Ride In Our Van or If My Children Ride In Your Car, you will likely be called.   Almost everyone who has been called loves it.  My mom hates it and is annoyed riding with us when we call each other, we don’t even call her.  Funny thing is I will have my kids friends say to me “Mrs Jen I saw so many today and had no one to call”.  While at the wedding my Mother In Law complained to me “This silly love bug game, I will be reading and He {pointing to my Father In Law} keeps calling me.  He grinned and I know she does not really mind.

That is how a green love bug changed our lives
Go hug someone and give them a genuine compliment, it will brighten their day
jen

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5 thoughts on “Green Love Bug

  1. sandra musick says:

    Again I say, i love the way you love your kids.

  2. Christine says:

    Your solution is much better than my outright ban!

  3. C Overholt says:

    grr, that game is the worst!! Punch Buggy is much better

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