Now I promise I will totally get back to sewing and craft posts (I have some cozy blankets I NEED to make). For now, I just have to share this. What better way to have my first post of 2018 be about something as important as kindness!?
Any Moms or Dads out there ever question whether or not your lessons on kindness are truly getting through to your kids? Will they grow up to be good, kind people who genuinely care about others? All the conversations we have, stories we tell, and lessons we give … do they listen to them and do those stories really resonate with our kids? Do they absorb everything we say or do those important words just evaporate into thin air?
I question my strategies all the time. Last month I posted about my family’s Acts of Christmas Kindness (you can find it here). My girls completed them with a smile on their faces, but do they truly understand the importance of them? Do they know they may be brightening up another person’s day? Are my kids’ days brighter because they went and did something nice for someone else? Do they realize that their actions have the power to spread to others… just like confetti? Now that the magic of Christmas is over… will they continue to do nice things for others? Will they want to be kind because intrinsically it makes them feel good? Where’s that confetti anyway? Does kindness continue to spread long after Santa has gone on vacation? I didn’t know for sure… until yesterday.
It was a very rare occurrence. I got to spend most of the day with my oldest daughter (I’ll refer to her as M). Here she is leaving the grocery store.
My other two daughters were home with Daddy. I was so excited to spend some time with M. We were only going to the grocery store, but I’ll take any one-on-one time I can get with my girls! M doesn’t share in my excitement for shopping. She was miserable about going and wanted to stay home. In fact, she was incredibly antsy for us to quickly get to the store and back. She questioned me several times about whether or not we had additional stops to make. Clearly, this quality time with mommy was not as exciting for her. My first doubts of the day… maybe all these acts of kindness were only done for the sake of being good for Santa. Are my husband and I doing all that we can? Does she even listen to us? You know, that mommy guilt we all have from time to time? Not sure where the desire to be a perfect mommy came from, but I was really feeling that guilt!
Off we went to the grocery store. I was ready for M to start complaining that she was tired, bored, hungry, etc. Not once did she complain. In fact, she was being very helpful and thoughtful as we walked down the aisles. While I was contemplating what apples I should purchase I noticed M was also in a deep thought of her own. She kept glancing at a woman standing in line at the checkout aisle. She turned to me and said, “Hey Mommy, that lady is holding so many things in her hands. Do you think it would be okay if I went and got her a basket?”
In that moment all my doubts went away. On her own, she saw someone struggling and wanted to help! I know its a small gesture, but in my heart, I knew that she is understanding those important lessons. This is when I saw the kindness confetti in all it’s colorful glory! It is so simple, yet all the other adults shopping did not take notice of this woman struggling just a little.
I told her she could absolutely ask the woman if she needed help. M walked up to the woman and said, “Hi there. I see you are holding a lot of things. Would you like me to get you a basket?” The woman gave her a big smile, said thank you, and told her it was not necessary. She let M know that she really appreciated the kindness. Again, a small gesture, but my heart was so full. What made this act of kindness spread was everyone else around them finally took notice as well. There was another woman with a cart full of items standing in line directly in front of my daughter’s new acquaintance. This woman, despite having a large number of items, insisted that the woman holding her items go in front of her. See, there’s the confetti and it started spreading quickly!
That is when it hit me. We cannot work on our Acts of Kindness during the holidays alone. We need to do something kind every day! I have an entire Pinterest Board filled with ideas on what we can do to spread kindness all over the place! Check it out here!
Our family has decided to do at least one act of kindness EVERY day for the next year. 2018 is about to get a whole lot kinder in our family! NO act is too small! In fact, we searched through several of my saved pins and came up with 2 really helpful resources we want to share with all of you.
First, we were able to create a pretty extensive list (over 365 acts of kindness) and grouped them into different categories. The categories include ways to be kind to our family, to our friends, to our neighborhood, to the Earth, in school/at work (my husband is a principal at a high school), to strangers, and also to ourselves. The plan is to use this list as our guide and highlight the ones we complete. We also left spaces on our lists in case we come up with something new. If we do something more than once, we will draw tally marks next to that particular one. These resources are completely flexible. You can choose to focus on one category or more! I am sure I missed some great acts of kindness, so feel free to let me know what I missed and I will try to add them.
The 2nd resource is a color-coded personalized chart. We like to call it the Kindness Confetti Chart. It is a super simple and colorful way to keep track of your good deeds. All you need to do is color each category at the top of the page in your favorite colors with colored pencils, markers, highlighters, or crayons. Use a different color for each category on your key. I really like these colored pencils.
Start at 1 and then anytime you complete an act of kindness you will color in the next square with the color that matches the corresponding category. Right now is day 7 and I managed to complete 14 kind acts (some big, some small). Looking at my chart it is clear to see I have some categories I need to focus on for this week.
365 acts of kindness to be completed before the ball drops on January 1, 2019! We totally got this! Do you want to join us?
Interested in these resources? Click below!
I found some A-MAzing sites while searching Pinterest. Check them out below!
Want to share kindness digitally? There are also kindness initiatives you are able to join. This site has so many resources and they are all very simple ways to spread that kindness! I pledged to be kind. Check it out at https://www.kindness.org/
Want to get involved in some kindness events? This organization was formed by a family. They are all about helping others and participating in their local SpreadKindness.org events. They also have programs such as their Adopt a Soldier Program, tools where you can find kindness cards, and a shop with some cool kindness gear! Check it out at http://www.spreadkindness.org/
This company has some amazing kindness cards and gear! I am totally going to buy t-shirts for my entire family! Two moms started this company and their goal is to spread love & kindness. They have a great blog post about spreading the love with their gorgeous printable kindness cards. Check it out here! Also, check out their shop! There is so much to see at https://mama-said-tees.myshopify.com/
Hope you spread that kindness confetti this year! We all can use it in our lives. Can you think of any other ways to be kind this year? KINDLY leave a comment and let me know what I may have missed!