Practicing Random Acts of Kindness

On Tuesday I blogged about some yummy homemade yet easy treats you can make to bring to friends and neighbors as part of "give more, get more" week here on The Juice.  Today I want to talk further about random acts of kindness and how to get your kids involved. 

We have a family tradition in our house that takes place at our dinner table each night.  We each take turns sharing one nice thing we did for someone that day.  Now I must say this is a difficult task for my three kids and in the beginning they'd sit there and fidget and fuss trying to come up with something.  Most often they'd completely forgotten the very important task they'd been given to be on the lookout for something nice they could do for someone.  However we didn't give up and over time (with plenty of morning reminders) they have gotten so they understand what is expected of them.  It doesn't have to be a huge thing, sometimes it's a simple as holding a door for someone or letting someone cut in line, and that's okay.  What makes me happiest is that they are thinking about it occasionally as they go about their day.  As parents, I can only hope that eventually it will become second nature to them to perform these random acts of kindness.  Kindness needs to be taught and we need to lead by example.

Not only is it a testament to my kids when they see their parents acting in a kind way to others but it makes a huge impact on them when they see others acting that way.  My kids have been fortunate to witness someone letting us go ahead in the grocery store when we were in a rush, a neighbor that mows our lawn so it's ready for a game of soccer or even someone snowblowing the driveway so we don't have to shovel.  It's a big deal and the lesson being taught is an even bigger deal.  I'm so appreciative of that.

There are so many great sites out there promoting kindness, offering all sorts of ideas and inspiration.  A few of my favorites include:

Operation NICE:  If everyone was a little bit nicer to the folks they encountered each day, perhaps the world would be a more pleasant place.  Operation NICE was initiated to remind you that a little NICE goes a long way.  If e

Secret Agent L: Specializing in Anonymous Acts of Kindness and Day-Brightening

I love reading stories around the blogosphere of other parents trying to teach their kids the art of kindness.  Both of these are such great ideas:

Amy from Occupation: Mommy uses a bead jar to teach her girls to act kindly towards each other and those around them. 

Finding Bonggamom shares how her and her kids join in hosting birthday parties for kids that might not otherwise get one.

Do you have a favorite way of encouraging your kids to practice random acts of kindness?

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