by Cathy Kelly
While the holidays are a great time to open our hearts and at times wallets, we should stress the act of giving all year round. This month, we will be celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week.
Giving is what makes the world go round.
Therefore, it’s important that our children understand just how good it feels to give, instead of receive. I know these little people get so excited to open packages and mail, yet it’s also an opportunity to teach them how good it can feel to give to others. Especially when it’s through an act from the heart, instead of money.
If this sounds like something you’d like to start with your family, here is a list of different ways to show kindness during any time of the year:
- Head to the local grocery store and pick up 5-10 single stem flowers. Often times you can find these for $1- or $2 each.. Then, attach a simple note of thanks with ribbon. Leave these on car windows in your school parking lot to brighten the day of a teacher or school worker. A tip: make sure you pick a warm day!
- Collect fallen branches or bright blooms and assemble them into whimsical wreaths or bunches. Walk around the neighborhood and leave them on the porch or doors of your neighbors.
- After organizing your pantry, pull together bits of food.. Toss these into brown bags and then keep these packages in your car. Add a small bottle of water to each one and then give out to the homeless you may see around town..
- Inevitably, those tiny socks, diapers and bath time toiletries will become a thing of that past. Instead of throwing them away, gather up a big box of items you no longer need and take them to the local woman or children’s shelter. You can find a list of items needed on local non-profit websites, or by visiting the Austin Children’s Shelter.
- Trucks are a constant fascination with children. The garbage truck is especially exciting. So, the next time your children race outside to see these trucks, prepare some thank you treats for the drivers! It could be cookies and hot chocolate, or lemonade and snacks.
- Every once in a while children beg to get breakfast treats or donuts on the way to school. If you have sugar loving little ones, next time, indulge them and agree! But grab enough to share with teachers, bus drivers or carpool friends.
- Children love to color and draw. So, instead of letting these pile up on the fridge, turn them into cards and drop them at a nearby senior home. You never realized how happy these silly drawings make others feel, especially the elderly who may not get to see their own grandchildren.
Showing kindness to those around will be sure to trickle down to your little ones and help them see that being kind goes a long way.