“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Does this sound familiar? Weekdays busy with work and children busy at school and then running from activity to activity. On weekends, instead of families relaxing, they are running from sports games to music lessons to dinner parties. Do you feel like in the midst of all this busyness, you are missing some much needed quality family time? As a mom of 4, I certainly fall into this category.
With my children growing older and becoming more involved in sports and other activities, there are days where I feel like the only chance I get to talk to them is when I drive them from one activity to another. I don’t want to look back on this time with my children and remember just the busy schedules, but I want to remember the quality time we had spent together.
As part of my attempt to become more intentional about my family time, I wanted to find an activity we could do as a family on a daily basis that was meaningful. I also wanted to find an activity where we could instill the importance of being more thankful and kind. My husband and I believe that these two characteristics are the essence of being a good individual.
As a family, we started a “Kindness Jar”. We spent an afternoon decorating a mason jar and then coming up with the “rules” for the Kindness Jar. We decided that everyday, every family member would write down something kind they did or something kind someone did for them and place the note in the jar. At the end of the week, as family, we read the notes.
The result of this activity was quality family time. However, what we didn’t expect were the in-depth conversations that were sparked as a result of reading the notes. The children started exploring other ways to be kind and ways they can continue to help others. They started realizing that kindness and gratitude was something quite simple but essential. This simple activity has been such an eye-opener for my family and we plan on continuing it for a long time.
So, why not start a family ‘kindness tradition’? Spend some quality time together by practicing kindness and gratitude on a daily basis.
As an extra bonus, here are five other ways to bring kindness to the home. I also included a free PDF download by clicking on the button below.
5 Simple Ways to Bring Kindness to the Home
FAMILY KINDNESS JAR: As a family member witnesses an act of kindness, he/she writes it on a piece of paper and drops it into the kindness jar. At the end of the week, share all the wonderful kindness acts with the family.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS LIST: For a month, have a board where each day, each family writes down 2 Random Acts of Kindness.
GRATITUDE BAGS: As a family, fill several decorated bags with basic necessities and pass them to people you feel could benefit most from them.
FAMILY GRATITUDE JOURNAL: A family journal where each day, every family member writes down 3 things he/she is grateful for.
FAMILY CHARITY BANK: Decorate a jar, tin, or box for spare change that will be donated to the family's charity of choice.