You know how parenthood can be. One minute everything goes as planned and you feel like you’re killing it as a mom. You pat yourself on the back. Ten minutes later you’re crying in the closet eating an entire bag of M&Ms wondering how it could have all gone so wrong. Well, that’s how kindness month was for us!
In the spirit of trying to be more impactful, I decided to try to spend some time emphasizing kindness with the kids. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick to any kind of planned schedule, so we just listed some activities together and implemented them throughout the month. Here’s a list of what we did:
- Gave a child a toy we weren’t using anymore
- Brought brownies to a new neighbor that moved in
- Made and sent our cousins some mail
- Put a dollar in a library book for another child to find
- Helped our sibling clean up toys
- Surprised mom by cleaning up while I was gone (thanks daddy!)
- Made a card and hot cocoa to give to the mailman
- Produced some thank you cards
My very favorite result of this month is that the kids started observing kindness acts out of context of our activities. They mentioned it when they noticed others being kind, and they started to do small things like hold doors open and share toys more often. I even noticed myself pointing out kindness more often. For this reason alone, I will be doing another “kindness month” in the future.
Then There’s the Ugly
Things did go wrong. One day, my kids made a card with hot cocoa to give to the mailman. It was a cold day, and our mailbox is just down the street. So, I let them go do it on their own as I watched at the window with the baby. I looked out as my daughter downright refused to let her brother help her put the card in.
And they fought. Not a good start.
Then, somehow her hat got stuck in the mailbox. And since she hadn’t been kind to him, my son decided to reciprocate. He walked away smugly and left her STUCK TO THE MAILBOX.
I ran out in the cold (with the baby) as my daughter ran screaming and crying home without a hat (she broke free at least!).
Then, to my utter horror, our very kind neighbor came out of his house and retrieved the hat. Apparently he had seen the whole debacle. To make matters worse, my daughter wouldn’t even take the hat from him when he offered it because she was so upset.
I was so mortified I wanted to hide in my closet with chocolate.
And I wanted to laugh, because isn’t this what motherhood is all about. You try to teach your kids something and then they end up embarrassing you in front of the neighbor. And completely missing the point of being kind. We’ll try again another day.
Overall, I’m still happy with the results. Sometimes it’s good to keep expectations low! We’ll definitely keep working on it though!