I’m excited to share a fun summer idea to help promote kindness around our home with our kids spending so much time together. I’m part of Summer Fun Series organized by my friend McKenzie at Girl Loves Glam.
It is one of my biggest dreams as a mother that my children will love each other. Not just get along, but enjoy each other. I LOVE summer because we get to hang out and do fun stuff and just have fun! However, the long hours spent in close proximity often leads to…well…some irritations and nerves. This little trick has helped reinforce to my kids to show kindness…it is very important to me.
I’d like to think that my children show the utmost kindness towards each other–all the time. Really, is it THAT hard? I find myself saying, “Don’t talk to each other. Don’t look at each other.” I like to implement positive re-inforcement when I can…and my kids like a little money. Since they don’t get money from us for daily jobs, it’s harder to come by at home. I came up with the Kindness Coins. Each week (I chose Sunday) since I expected kindness, I presented the coins with full hopes that they would get to keep all of them. Since my boys are older (and wise to the whole “penny is only 1 cent” bit) I chose quarters, something I wanted them to want to keep a hold of. I chose well, because they did. For me, that amounted to 10 coins per child, a total of $2.50 each.
I explained that I wanted to reward them in advance for their expected kindness, but if they choose to show unkindness towards a sibling or myself, I will request a quarter. I’d like to report that after a month, things are coming along quite nicely. They are learning that with each unkind comment, a quarter must be gently placed in my hand (I’ve had a few thrown, and that’s a no-no…go get another quarter;). In a more severe instance, I asked for 2 quarters, and in all cases, I expect (sincere, look-them-in-the-eye) apologies for the unkindness. A very simple song I learned in church as a child comes to mind, “I want to be kind to everyone, for that is right, you see. So I say to myself…remember this: Kindness begins with me.”
When they give a quarter to me, I put it right back into the bucket from which I drew at the beginning of the week. Just make sure you replenish your supply (or maybe it was a rough week and you don’t have to). We are working on showing more kindness at home, to make it a more enjoyable place for all of us. One of my favorite songs, Love at Home, I sometimes sing (just to doubly emphasize my point): “There is beauty all around,when there`s love at home.”
Follow along with the rest of the series