Routines can be hard to get into but when we do life seems to run a lot smoother. Not everything about life has to be routine of course there always needs to be room for spontaneity. I have thought about this a lot this week and have done parts of a kindness routine for a while with my daughter I just want to add to it. I also want there to be a tradition of kindness and service in our family and I believe this is one way to start that. As you read about what we are doing think about your day and where you can fit in a few minutes here and there for this. Here is what it looks like for us...
On our drive to the bus stop. I talk to her about finding ways to help or do something kind for someone else. I try and give her a few ideas and ask her to brainstorm and think of at least one way she can do something for someone else in her day.
When we get out of the van to let her on the bus I remind her again. By saying something like "remember to try and find something nice you can do for someone else." ( I asked her to let me take a pic and she could hear the bus and got all nervous)
When I pick her up from school we have a 12 minute ride home. This is a great time to ask her about her day and what she did for someone else. I think it's super important to try and connect with your kids while they are young and get them talking to you about their day. Try asking questions they can't just say "yes" for "no" to. Like "what was the best part of your day?" Or "What made you sad today?" "Who were you able to help today?" etc etc. I would LOVE for you to share any ideas here, getting kids to open up about their day can be tough. Though I seem to be making progress this year, yea :)
The last step in the routine is to chat about it again at dinner time with the whole family. This is the part I have yet to do but am going to start doing. Dinner is also super great for family connectedness a great tradition in and of itself. I am also going to make a kindness jar though I am going to involve the kids in naming it and decorating it. The more input they have in this routine the more successful it is likely to be so call it whatever you like kindness jar, warm fuzzies jar etc. Their good deeds can be written down and put in a fun jar or little fuzzies or whatever suites your fancy Dinner time is when we will add to our jar. Would love to see what you come up with, if you do this I REALLY want to see it so upload a pic to The SIP project Face Book page and then I can share it. (This post is super long so I am going to pin jar ideas onto The SIP project board I have on Pinterest and put links to them on The SIP project Face Book page) I think it would be fun to to have a special family day somewhere the kids love to go when the jar gets filled. You could also do a sticker chart instead of a jar if you kids are more into stickers. Be creative and have fun with it!
I tried to find a picture of a family having a food fight or things just a little chaotic at dinner but came up empty on that front but I did find these and had to share...
|Food fight...da dun dun shpun!|
Here is my other thought. My dad is a mechanic and his world was all about cars while I was growing up. Anywhere we went with him as we drove around he would talk about makes and models that were driving near us and tid bits of info about them. I never thought about it growing up that was just life, I just listened but I noticed that I ended paying attention to cars. Friends would have no clue what car their parents or anyone else for that matter was driving and I would be like duh...it's a '99 Honda Civic how could you not know or notice that! It hasn't changed I still do it to this day. My point is that as we routinely bring up "hey, did you do something nice for someone else today?" and talk about what they did it will become ingrained in them and at some point you won't need to say anything it will just be who they are...IF you consistently do it.
I have thought about this story countless times over the 3 years since I heard it and is what inspired this whole routine, I was really struck by the simplicity of it...
Read the full excerpt here.
Do you have any traditions of kindness in your family? I would love to hear about them!
If you have a Pin board on kindness or a similar topic let me know I would love to follow you.