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
...to 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- Parents.com
Spread Happiness: Send Sunshine- The Pleasantest Thing
Teach Your Children To Give Random Acts of Kindness- Zen Mama


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