This time of the year is a whirlwind of activity. As much as we try to commit to being mindful and present, our days are busy buying, cleaning, preparing and possibly packing for holiday travels. Think about how you feel at the end of the day. You sink into your bed and allow all that you have been carrying all day slowly melt away. Maybe you need to unwind in some way with gentle yoga stretches, or a meditation, or listening to music to help you turn off your brain.
Now think about your child. Think about all their bodies have experienced today- the way their body moved, what they felt, how they experienced the hustle of this season.
I implore you to begin showing kindness to yourself, then show kindness to your children, then as a family, share kindness with others. I talk with my son about “making kind choices” using “kind words”. Kindness is something that children can experience every single day and share back with the world, every single day.
I have found that in those moments when I feel frazzled and pulled in five hundred directions, I forget to show kindness to myself and take a breath. I forget that as I am rushing to make dinner and my son wants to watch and just be with me. I forget to show kindness to the person who cuts me off while driving or the woman in the grocery store talking on her phone while her child sits in the cart and watches her.
Here is the truth. We all have a story. We all have things going on in our lives that are tearing us apart and things or people that are lifting us up. Every single person. That woman who looks like she has it all together or that man standing on the corner. Children watch how we interact with other people and they replicate our model.
During this season, I am going to start a new tradition in my family- kindness elves! We are going to complete at least one kind act a day. I love the concept of the kindness elves because it isn’t about my child doing something for a reward. It is about doing something kind because it helps another person, or makes someone happy, because it helps him see that there is more than just his wants and needs. Kindness elves foster an intrinsic motivation to do good, rather than an extrinsic motivation to “be good” for some reward.
Wishing you and your family a season of peace, kindness, joy and simplicity.