Positive Parenting: How to Build A Kindness Jar
Tired of always saying the same things when your kids are fighting or you want them to be more helpful and compassionate? Catch your kids performing random acts of kindness! When you do, try giving positive feedback and be mindful of how much less you need to remind your kids to be kinder. Sit down with your kids and talk to them about what kind behaviors we all want to help us feel loved and more appreciated. Start within your family and then extend to community. Use the list below as a starting point and add on, encouraging your children to come up with their own ideas.
TOP 10 ACTS OF KINDNESS
Clean up your toys without being asked
Help a sibling
Help set the table
Say thank you to everyone
Invite someone to play
Make a gift for someone,
Share a special toy
Feed your pet without being asked
Donate some toys/games to a Women/children shelter
Bring flowers to your teacher or child care provider
HOW TO BUILD A KINDNESS JAR
A Kindness Jar is a great way to help toddlers, pre-schoolers, elementary school kids and even older children learn the value of kindness. Start by placing the jar in a prominent area of your home where it is accessible to everyone. Celebrate each act of kindness by putting a coin, stone, paper heart or pom pom in the jar. As a family, decide if the jar should be half- full or to the top before a reward is given. Find an amount that will take 3-4 days for preschoolers or up to a week for older kids. Encourage siblings to notice acts of kindness as well.
Make the decision as a family before you begin what the reward will be when the kindness jar is full. Will it be a special outing? A family dinner? Or maybe a special treat? Or it could be some a larger act of kindness, like donating paints and paintbrushes to the Children’s Hospital or some gently used toys or clothing to a Women/Children Shelter.
We've included a kindness jar in our Family Box to help you get this activity started!
KINDNESS LEADS TO COMPASSION
You will probably note that your kids are more tuned into what kindness means and will be naturally rewarded by the reactions that parents display and also siblings. These acts of kindness lead to a more compassionate child. You might be surprised how you are also more tuned into what kindness can do to encourage a stronger bond between you and your children and how this ultimately spills out into a more compassionate family unit.