Kindness: keeping it real

At the beach a few years agoRemember the secret kindness project I blogged about in January? We have SO fallen off the wagon. The youngest kiddo, who teases the older ones the most and therefore receives the least charity from the teens, is really feeling unhappy.  And the bigger ones are feeling totally justified in continued unkindness because she is being such a pest.

After a big upset this morning with multiple kids airing grievances, I’ve re-instituted the kindness project. Part of the reason the project got derailed was because I wasn’t remembering to assign new ‘buddies’ each week. So I’m taking it back to its original form, with each of the older ones doing three kind things for the youngest one. The youngest one also has the assignment to do one kind thing for each of her older siblings each day.Tillamook, OR a few years ago

To provide a dab more motivation, I’m setting out a candy bowl for awhile.  Kids can show me their chart and pick a treat once they’ve checked off their 3 nice things each day.

I also talked with the kids about loving like Jesus does. He loves everyone, even the ones who offend him.  And I prayed with the kids for gentle hearts towards each other, and also prayed that I will through God’s grace be able to steadily model gentleness and love even when kids offend me.  Such a hard job for us all.  I am so grateful for the grace that God has shown me when I blow it.  I hope that by showing more love myself, I can encouraging our kids towards love too.

And chocolate as a partial incentive can’t hurt. 😉

How do you encourage a reset in your family when attitudes get out of control?



  1. Beth in the City says:

    I just sent one outside for some exercise on the trampoline. That should help reset something! So does time away from screens. Sigh. This parenting gig is hard, but I love them a ton! Thank you for your encouraging posts.

  2. Such an issue at my house too! I love your idea and will try it with my teens and little one. As for me, I am trying to use my “pleasant word/honey comb” voice that I used to use when teaching others’ children. This keeps my emotions in check too – “a soft answer turns away MY wrath.” Actually, I’ve only done this well two days last week, but I’m praying for that. 🙂

  3. I reset my daughters house probably every 3 mos. I send Mommy to her room for an hour( which is why I get the call to come reset the house LOL, the Mommys like their time outs ). Let the grandkids wail,moan and groan. AND then the worst part is, the grandkids have to come up with the solution that will work for all that is involved. That solution is tried for 30 days. If it’s not working then, Mommy gets to set the next solution up. The other day the eldest granddaughter went over to my other’s daughter’s place and did the reset…It even worked better because the grandkids felt it was coming from one of their own.

  4. Oh, Juls! I want to be a Grandma just. like. you! I so needed this kind of help when all I had was Little Ones, and I vow to be the help my grown kids need…because I remember.

    Thanks for this fun idea.

    And Mary…I’m so with you on the chocolate.