What’s more important to you as a parent: How happy your kids are? How well your kids achieve? Or what about how kind they are to others?
According to the Making Caring Common Project, 80% of youth in their study feel like their parents are more concerned with their happiness and achievement over whether the show concern for others. Most of these youth would agree their parents cared more about their grades than being a caring community member.
But what does that mean? Does it mean we are focusing on the wrong things? Maybe we are putting too much emphasis on our kids’ achievements, and showing that we value our own happiness over the feelings of others? That’s what our kids are interpreting, anyway.
Shouldn’t our ultimate goal be to raise kids who love God and love others? Even if our goal is happiness above all else, there’s good news for parents who are working hard to instill kindness in their kids:
According to scientific evidence, kindness makes you healthier and happier! Dr. David Hamilton, in his book The Five Side Effects of Kindness, explains that kindness changes the brain, impacts the heart and immune system, is an antidote to depression, and even slows the aging process.
Who wouldn’t want that for their kids?
I think we can all agree that a little kindness goes a long way in our world, in our homes, and in our lives.
But in order to raise kids who are kind, we need to value it, model it, celebrate it.
What better time to help your kids achieve your dreams of health and happiness for them than to celebrate kindness together on National Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th! Gather around the kitchen table, decide one thing you will do this week to show random kindness. Then celebrate what you did as a family at the end of the week. But don’t stop there. Being kind is something you and your family will have to practice every day. It can take some work to get into the habit of considering other people over ourselves. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Day:
- Compliment at least 5 people. (Be original)
- Let the person in line behind you go ahead of you.
- Leave happy notes around town.
- Babysit for a single mom for free.
- Sit next to someone who is sitting alone at lunch.
- Help an elderly neighbor take out the trash or mow their lawn.
- Write your siblings a note about how much you appreciate them.
- Take the security guard a hot cup of coffee.
- Leave your server a gigantic tip (especially if they weren’t great at it).
- Bring a box of doughnuts to the custodians at school or work.
- Leave a thank you note in the mailbox addressed to the mailman.
- Send a card to someone serving in the military.
- Hold the door open for someone.
- Do a chore without being asked.
- Give a fancy chocolate bar to the bus driver.
- Bake your favorite cookies for a neighbor.
- Donate warm coats or blankets to the homeless shelter.
- Call the grandparents.
- Surprise some friends with dinner. (Drop it off, don’t stay.)
- Find someone who looks like they’ve had a bad day and give them a gift card. ($5 for coffee or ice-cream would make anyone’s day!)
- Go through the drive-thru and pay for the car behind you.
- Clean up the classroom for your teacher.
- Donate gently used toys to a charity.
- Put together and give away homeless bags. (Listen to Carlos Whittaker explain this great idea.)
- Smile at everyone you see.
We want to hear what you did for National Kindness Day! Post your picture to social media using hashtag #ParentCue or comment below.