Sunday was one of many bitter-sweet days I, as a parent, faced (as I’m sure many of you have as well). My oldest left for camp. For a couple of days before he left, he would just randomly give one of us a hug and tell us he will miss us. This is his third year going and even though it was easier this year than it was the first, it was still hard to tell him good-bye knowing it will be a week until I see him again.
For this #WeeklyKidChallenge, we will actually being working in a couple of different areas since I will have more one on one time my daughter. One being what she has come up with one her own. She wants us to tidy up her brother’s room while he is gone since he left it in a mess trying to get all of his stuff packed before he had to leave. She also wants to make him a world in MineCraft and have a huge “Welcome Home,” banner and fireworks in the world. I love that she is thinking of him and is willing to spend some of her time and energy doing something for him because she knows it will make him happy. It is good to teach kids to think of others and to do random acts of kindness. It helps them grow as a person and teaches them to be thoughtful of others. Something like this shouldn’t be forced because it may cause bitterness towards the idea. But it can be encouraged.
- Tell them you are thinking of doing something nice for someone else, like a sibling or another family member, and ask if they want to help.
- Do something nice for them.
- Draw names out of a hat, like Secret Santa, and have them make a craft for the other one.
- If you have followed along with #WeeklyKidChallenge and have made notebooks (CLICK HERE TO READ) then have everyone draw a picture or write a note in another one’s notebook.
- Think big. Volunteer in your community as a family.
Another area we will be working on this week is teaching my daughter that she can catch more flies with honey than she can vinegar. My daughter is not only the youngest in our house, she is also the youngest out of her close cousins that she sees regularly. Sometimes it seems like she feels she has to be forceful, borderline rude at times, to be heard amongst the older kids. When she was younger, she followed along with whatever they wanted to do. Now, she has her own ideas and wants when they all get together. I’m hoping to work with her this week to teach her that being rude is not how she should go about getting what she wants. I’m going to give her tools and go over different situations with her.
- It’s all about compromise. In any relationship, it is up to all parties to take the other one’s feelings and wants into consideration. On more than one occasion I’ve noticed with my kids and their cousins that they want to play together, but not do the same thing. One will want to play dolls, while another wants to go outside, while another wants to watch a movie, and another will want to play a video game. They all end up doing their own thing and are upset that at least one of them didn’t want to play with them. I’m going to go over this situation and teach her that as much as she may want to play with dolls that her cousin may want to go outside just as much and it is better to compromise by both of them playing outside for a while then playing with dolls later, or vice versa.
- Ask, don’t demand. Like in the situation above, how she asks her brother or cousins may determine how they’ll respond. I know personally I wouldn’t want one of my cousins demanding that I go watch a particular movie with them while what I want to watch gets put on the back burner until the next time. Neither would she, her brother, or her cousins. So I’m going to role-play with her some so it will become natural for her to ask rather than demand.
- Don’t forget manners. Another thing I’ve noticed with her is that when she starts to feel pushed aside by the older kids, she starts to get rude. She will tell them to move rather than to say “Excuse me,” and things like that. I know it’s because her feelings are getting hurt and she is still unsure on how to handle herself when she feels rejected. But, it is still not an excuse. So, we are going to work on her still keeping her composure and not forgetting her manners even if she feels hurt.
I hope you join us this week by either having your kids preform random acts of kindness for others in your family or community, or working on manners with them this week.