create (with kids): Creative Kindness

By freshlyplanted - 10:54 PM

Some days she dresses herself completely. Other days she struggles getting her undies on without help. Some days she just wants to do her own thing, and other days she can't be more than two steps away from Mama. This is the see-saw of independence lately with my three and a half year old. Some days Isia is interested in testing her wings- and other days she's very firmly rooted in the ground. It's been a learning process for us both, one that I'm still learning to accommodate. Because it's so easy for me to quickly turn something she does a few times into an Expectation for the future. Which I don't think is always fair. Yes, it makes my life easier if Isia is able to put on her shoes by herself. But on the days she doesn't want to, I need to remember that she's still little. I forget this sometimes. That some days she just needs to be little- sitting in Mama's lap getting that extra love and help. And we can all use help sometimes, right? Because that's how we nurture these little hearts into helpful ones, by helping them first.

Helpful Creations
And then teaching them to help their community in return. One way I've been nurturing Isia's helpful heart is agreeing to her snack requests with the gentle directive that she give one to her little brother first. So if she's making herself peanut butter toast, to please make & deliver one to him first. Or if she wants to make granola parfaits...

Helpful Creations do the same. And one for Mama too if you don't mind (smile). I want her to realize how good it feels not only to receive help- but to give it too. I think this lesson is starting to sink in. Earlier today Billy, who's been fascinated with the potty, was getting help from Isia putting the potty seat on. Sensing quiet kids I went to investigate and found Billy, fully clothed, trying to climb up on the assembled potty seat while Isia stood by. "Isia," I asked, "are you his Mama?" She replied, "No, I'm his Big Sister." So we'll still need to work on what to help him with, but that's a good start!

Some other great ideas for fostering creative kindness in kids:
Kids Can Volunteer (They Just Can't Clean Their Rooms)- Rants From Mommyland
14 Little Ways to Encourage Kindness-
Spread Happiness: Send Sunshine- The Pleasantest Thing
Teach Your Children To Give Random Acts of Kindness- Zen Mama


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  1. This is... simply put... beautiful.

    You've expressed perfectly what was on my heart when my daughter was ebbing in and out of independence. I also love that you foster that helping heart. It's so critical.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful message and encouraging words.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. You just made my day Jennifer, thank you! They're so big yet so little all at once, don't you think? I'm not sure that ever changes ;) ~Cassidy

  2. love Love LOVE this so much...

    We have a family philosophy of "underpromise, overdeliver". We teach (by example, of course) the kids to go above and beyond what is asked or expected. The result has been (thus far) very kind and thoughtful and creative children. What you talked about in this post is a wonderful example. My husband and I "underpromise, overdeliver" for each other (he might be just a tad bit better about this than I am. ahem) and the kids are witnessing and emulating and teaching it to each other. I hope that makes sense.

    1. "Underpromise, overdeliver"- I love that. And they're always watching aren't they? Thank you for sharing! ~Cassidy


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