As you know, I consider teaching my kids compassion and kindness one of my most important parenting responsibilities. The start of the New Year provides the perfect opportunity to begin a conversation about new ways we can show kindness towards others.
I decided to focus our New Year's Resolution conversation on ways we can be kind to other family members.
Family Kindness Resolutions for the New Year
After school the kids and I started out by having a conversation about what things other family members did for us this year that we enjoyed. This was a fun way to remember the good times we had together. I asked the boys what each person did for them that they really appreciated. There was clearly a theme of spending quality time with each other! (Just a little reminder to us parents about what kids really want.)
Then we talked about how we can use those examples to make resolutions to reciprocate that kindness. We went down the list, covering each grandparent, parent and sibling, choosing something we wanted to do for that other person.
We decorated index cards and wrote down our resolutions. I had to keep the decorating simple since it's not always easy to motivate my kids to do arts and crafts. New Kid got frustrated with the writing part quickly (he's only 5) but Kiddo really got into creating his resolutions. It's wonderful to see his empathy develop. I also love how my 8 year old wrote "N.Y.R." on each of his cards!
Finally we collected all the cards together and turned it into a book (see top photo) to refer to throughout the year. I'm looking forward to 2014: the Year of Kindness!
More ways to grow kind kids and teach family kindness:
- Thoughtful Children's Books about Kindness
- Children's Books for a Happy New Year's Day
- A "Tip Jar" to Help Siblings Get Along
- Family Harmony Tokens
- The Giant Hug: A Family Valentine