Happy World Kindness Day! Today is a day created to remind the world to be kind to each other. The focus is on making the world a better place through acts of kindness. I love that idea! It goes right along with my passion and Families with Grace.
While you’re looking for and thinking about ways to be kind to those you encounter, don’t forget about the people you encounter most: your family! Sometimes being kind to those who live under the same roof as you can be harder and take more sacrifice. For example, buying a coffee for the car behind you at the Starbucks drive-thru is kind, but it doesn’t require much time or effort. There is minimal sacrifice involved other than the few dollars extra that you pay. (And totally do something like this if you can; it really is a kind thing to do!) But finding ways to be kind to our families can be a little more involved. My kids, for instance, wouldn’t think twice about me paying for their food or drinks because I always do since they are 5 and 9.
I’ve come up with some ideas for you to apply to your family for World Kindness Day — and the other 364 days of the year! Give them a try, let me know what you love and share some of your ideas as well.
Write a note.
Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but I love a handwritten note. Even just a few sentences on a piece of paper that say how much you love and appreciate someone can make their day. Text messages or emails work, too, if that’s more your speed or works better for your family.
Bake a favorite family treat.
I think my love language is food! LOL Seriously, though, there’s something about cooking or baking something special for those you love that is good for your soul. And they’ll love it, too!
Do someone else’s chore.
Our family is big on everyone has their own chores and is responsible for their own belongings. We’re trying to teach responsibility and all that jazz, but every so often taking someone else’s dishes to the sink for them or putting their dirty socks in the hamper is just plain kind and appreciated.
Go around the dinner table and share things you like about each other.
My family has done this randomly a couple of times. We’ve also done it on birthdays and focused on one person. Everyone loves to hear what other people like about them. Challenge your family to say three nice things about each family member that have to be more than their appearance.
Ditch electronics, snuggle and chat.
What is kinder than giving someone your undivided attention? Even better, snuggle together on the couch and talk about your day. Try to do more listening than talking. The gift of being heard is priceless.
Decide to spend the entire day without complaining or grousing. Sometimes we get in the habit of seeing and talking about only negative things. Banish the negative and embrace the positive for a day. Your whole family can do it together or just you can do it. Either way, the shift in even one attitude can shift the attitude of the entire family.
Buy a small gift as a surprise.
Stop by the Dollar Tree for a small toy or trinket. Or stop by a gas station and pick up a favorite candy bar. You could even get a $5 gift card to a favorite fast food restaurant. Just find a little something your loved ones love and leave it somewhere for them to find like on their pillow, desk or usual end of the couch.
Join together to be kind.
Sometimes the best gift you can give your loved ones is the gift of learning to appreciate how good it feels to give. Talk about a family project you can undertake together to help someone else. Make a card together for an extended family member going through a hard time. Or go shopping for and deliver food to a local food pantry. Or bake cookies and take them to the local fire department.
Homemade gifts can really be the best ones. I have always enjoyed cards and crafts my kids make me, but I’ll never forget how excited my daughter was when I made her a card to go with her small gift for preschool graduation because I’d forgotten to buy one. She thought it was so awesome that her mom sat down with construction paper and made one for her. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate craft (unless that’s your thing, then go for it!). Just a little something can go a long way.
Say thank you.
This seems too obvious, but I’m thinking of saying thank you for all the small things that we expect our families to do and don’t often comment on. Thank you husband for taking out the trash. Thank your kids for putting their clothes in the hamper. Everyone loves to be appreciated!
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