with Britt Reints
Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.
You can also find Britt on Twitter and at InPursuitOfHappiness.net.
Recently, I made my children spend a day writing cards and handing them out to strangers in our neighborhood. I’d been wanting to get them involved in a kindness project for a while, and a sponsorship on my blog gave me the nudge I’d needed to make the time. The three of us had a great time, and I’m so glad we made kindness a priority for one day.
Most moms don’t find themselves in a position of being paid for doing good.
Normally, we have to balance random kindness with work, school, household chores, personal care, and maintaining relationships.
Normally, we rely on the unexpected opportunities to do good. We hold doors, carry a grocery bag, or let someone turn left across from us at a green light.
And while those small kindness are important and impactful, they can sometimes feel too small to be seen by the little ones for whom we model good character.
How can we, as busy parents, easily involve our kids in random acts of kindness?
1. Leave love notes
Have your kids practice the lost art of handwriting on a box of blank cards. They can write simple messages like “Have a nice day!” or “You matter!” This is a great way to spend a snowy afternoon.
Then, keep the cards in the car or in your purse, and make a point of leaving them in public places when you’re out on the town. Your kids will get into the game of finding the perfect spots for your little love notes.
2. Return an extra cart
If your kids are old enough to safely navigate a market parking lot, start a tradition of returning carts in pairs: you take back the one you used while they pick up a stray or one a stranger is emptying out.
My daughter was hesitant to approach strangers and offer help at first, but she’s come to love the big smiles and thanks she often gets in return.
3. Help yourself, help a neighbor
One of our neighbors is an elderly woman who lives alone, and we’ve made a concerted effort to get our kids involved in watching out for her. When my daughter brings the trash cans in from the curb, she brings in the neighbor’s bins as well. When my son shovels the sidewalk, he spends a few extra minutes clearing her stairs and walk.
My hope is that the kids are learning that it’s relatively easy to do a little extra work done in service to others.
It might seem silly to make a concerted effort to teach kids about random acts of kindness - my teenager likes to tell me that this defeats the point of randomness - but I know that even the most important lessons can easily get lost in the bustle of keeping up with daily life.
Do you have any other ideas for random acts of kindness that kids can do? Share your suggestions in the comments!
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