Sunday, November 15, 2015

Do Something Good Today

One of my biggest priorities with my family centers on teaching my kids social responsibility – how to be kind, how to think of others, and how to take care of people who need help. To help them get a better understanding of this concept, every night, we talk about three topics:

1- What was the best thing that happened to me today, and why?

2- What was the worst thing that happened to me today, and why?

3- What have I done today to create goodness, and why does it make me happy?

This discussion keeps us all connected and helps us share what we experience each day. It also gives my husband and me the opportunity to teach our kids the importance of feeling responsible for the well-being of others. We have a family rule that we always try to live by – be good, be nice, and be kind.

I’ve learned that if you help kids see how caring for others plays out in their world and in ways they can relate to, they really can absorb these principles and embrace them. Here are some examples of ways you can teach your kids to think of others:

  • Sharing: When kids have so many toys or stuffed animals lining their closets or playrooms, it may be time to talk with them about parting with ones they haven’t played with in a very long time. Talk with them about how one of their toys could make a child who has nothing to play with really happy.
  • Responsibility: While kids may think nothing of leaving a jacket at the playground or tossing part of their lunch, try to help them understand that many kids around the world simply don’t have enough food to eat or warm clothes to wear. Help kids understand that it’s important to take care of their things and to be thankful for what they have.
  • For the Love of Reading: I love books and have always tried to instill in my kids a love of books and reading. And when they grow tired of a favorite book or want to move to a new level of reading, we always donate their older books so another child has the opportunity to explore new worlds through reading.
  • Do Something Good! Finally, I try to teach my kids that every day is an opportunity to do something good for someone else. It might be sharing a toy at pre-school, it might be sharing a sticker from a new sticker book, or helping a friend if they stumble on the playground. When they begin helping others from a young age, not only can kids develop empathy, but they can also understand how rewarding it can be to make a difference in someone else’s life.

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