Do your kids fight as much as mine?
Are you constantly struggling to find ways to help your kids find the positive side of having siblings?
I have bad news and good news.
The bad news is that this idea will not cure bickering.
The good news is that this parenting idea will help instill a deep, deep (maybe really, really deep) and long (maybe loooooooong - be patient) term appreciation for siblings in your kids' hearts and minds.
If you are like me, you will try anything.
This idea will get your kids to issue one complement to each other every day. It starts next month, and lasts for 24 days. I know you are thinking,
But I want it to last forever!
Last year we started this tradition and I will admit that it was a bit of a challenge to get each of my kids to be willing to share 24 ways he liked his brother. But, we've been working on sibling kindness with sibling tip jars, and family kindness tokens, even New Year's family kindness resolutions and I can tell you honestly, there was less reluctance this year. (Score one for mom.)
As I said, this is the second year of our sibling kindness advent calendars. I shared last year's on our Facebook page. It looked like this:
As you can see, it's not the prettiest homemade advent calendar you will find, but it did the trick.
This year I decided to make the kindness advent calendars a little more attractive. Not much, mind you. But enough. Witness the glory:
Each boy created a label for his sibling kindness advent calendar jar. The one of the left is "I like you," in case you are wondering about that.
I cut up 24 strips of origami paper, just to make it pretty. Each kid wrote down 24 things about his brother that he likes. Not all of them (okay, not most of them) were profound, but that's okay, because it's the little things, ya know?
I can't wait for December 1st. Hopefully we can start each day with a smile.
Well, actually I have that smile secured because they each have a LEGO advent calendar to open, too. (Wink)
Other ways to share the love this season:
- My friend Megan at Coffee Cups and Crayons has created a whole cottage industry of ways to perform acts of kindness this season. Be sure to download her Random Acts of Kindness advent calendar.
- Start a tzedakah box tradition in your home.
- Donate to one of these awesome charities that promotes literacy.
- Instead of that naughty elf on the shelf guy, teach your children compassion for others with The Kindness Elves, from The Imagination Tree.
- Relax. Don't try to do everything. Just be kind to each other.
Thank you for sharing this idea! We have incorporated it into our advent activities, and my 9 and 5 year old have come up with some really nice things to say about each other. My favorite from my 9 yr old, "some people are a nuisance, but you are not." : )
Erica MomandKiddo says
I'm so pleased to hear it!! Thank you so much for telling me. And I would love it if someone told me I'm not a nuisance. 🙂
Thank you for these ideas about sibling kindness. Yes, my grandson (9,7) fight … a lot! I’ve been doing Advent Calendars for them for many years now. This year, I felt that random teeny tiny toys had lost their appeal. So, I took a cue from your suggestions and added a slip of paper (folded like a fortune cookie fortune) with a kindness instruction in each box along with bits of candy/money. NOTE: when I included $$, I also included a “fortune” reading, “Feed the Food Bank! Put a dollar in the jar.”
Thanks for sharing your experience, I'm glad the idea inspired you!
I loved this post. Great idea, and even better, I love your candid life humor. I immediately thought “here’s a chick I would love to hang out with” LOL.
Thx for the idea and the laugh.
Ha! Well, sometimes we have to laugh at our parenting foibles, lest we weep instead. I hope you get a chance to try the advent idea. 🙂