We had some crazy torrential rain last night. And, this morning, as usual, Margo asked to go to the playground. I knew everything would be soaking wet, but I said “yes” and told her to grab a towel.
The playground is along a busy beach path with lots of benches for people to use. We were one of the first ones to get there (early risers here) and Margo ran around with her towel for about twenty minutes, wiping up the swings, the slides and as many benches as she can find. I helped her with the hard to reach bits. The towel was saturated, but it was good enough to push away the puddles of water from the flat surfaces, so that within a few minutes, the rest of the water had evaporated and everything was nice and dry for people to use. She’s been doing this same thing since she was about 2 years old.
She doesn’t get any rewards for wiping puddles away (ok, well, she gets to use the playground toys without getting a wet bum). There’s no bribery. There’s no pulling teeth. She LOVES doing it. She doesn’t sit and watch to see who will use the dry bench or the dry slide. She just wipes the puddles up and when she’s finished, she hangs her towel up and plays on a dry playground.
A real random act of kindness is a selfless act that one does to uplift the people around them. The random act of kindness, itself, is actually meant to make OTHER people feel happy… But, the funny thing is that doing a random act of kindness almost always makes the person ‘doing‘ the act more happy than the person who is on the ‘receiving‘ end.
Often, children feel so powerless and worthless because even in the most liberal households, lets face it, kids have to live in a world with adult rules. These feelings of powerlessness are often the root cause of misbehavior. Getting kids to do random acts of kindness boosts a child’s confidence and gives them a strong feeling of connection with their community. It uplifts their spirits and in the long run teaches them values such as cooperation, trust, respect and harmony. A child preforming a random acts of kindness gains a real sense of power and self worth.
Random acts of kindness need not be big! You can do just about anything great or small. A lot of times, we’ll just pick up a piece of trash, or save a worm… We do lots of different things. Often times, she will come up with her own random acts of kindness ideas, without me even mentioning it!
I cannot tell you how amazing it has been to watch Margo do her random acts of kindness. It really sets the tone for our mood on that day. It even makes ME have a better day! I’ve seen her mood go from complaining and grumpy to being more corporative, enthusiastic and happy, just from doing one small random act of kindness.
So, if your kids are grumpy, complaining, down on themselves or being difficult, see if you can find some way for them to start giving back. See how much of a huge difference it makes for BOTH you and for them (and be sure to let me know how it went!). Guaranteed, the second you start doing something for someone else, your day will be a lot brighter.
For more ideas on random acts of kindness you could do, check it out there is an entire Random Acts of Kindness website!