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...all year long!
Yes, Virginia, there is an official Random Acts of Kindness Day, falling annually on February 17. And in actuality, it is "celebrated" all week long, so technically...it starts in a few days!
But wouldn't it be great to have that mindset all year long?!
I mean, it's kinda sad if you think about it that we even need to have a day or week set aside specifically to be kind. But be that as it may, homeschoolers especially can take the lead on this. After all, ya' have to admit that many of our days are spent out and about: whether it's in the community or at co-op, volunteering or working at home (or elsewhere), errands and lessons and what-have-you, oh my!
The homeschooling lifestyle lends itself to lots of interaction in different settings; affording us countless opportunities to reach out and serve in kindness and love.
But even tho' the day is described as "random" acts, it's important to note that we may need to have some kind actions in mind, because, human as we are, our thoughts and eyes are often focused on our own lives, right? So in an effort to refocus our mindset, here are some ideas to get you started on thinking "random" "acts" and "kindness" all year round.
Practising random acts of kindness every day...
Here are some simple ways to encourage a compassionate and kind heart in your kiddos:
- Teach them about the needs around them day to day, and encourage them to help in whatever fashion they can. When siblings act out, or when you're feeling under the weather, sit down and explain to your younger ones that other people have feelings, too, and that they may be acting out of sadness or frustration. It's never too early to start doing this...ok, maybe you could wait till they're walking and talking. But seriously, you'd be amazed how receptive even little ones are to hurting hearts. And how eager they are to help!
- Help them to keep the mindset of meeting needs when you're out and about. Now I know we have to keep in mind "stranger danger" and all that, but if you're in the grocery line, how hard is it to help the older gentleman ahead of you? Or maybe just smiling at the lady in the next lane will brighten her day! And please be nice to the cashier - it can be a pretty dismal job... All acts of kindness...
- Speaking of being out and about, I love this one from The Muse: leave a short note in a library book for the next reader. Nothing lengthy or complicated. Maybe just a sticky note that says "Hope you love this book as much as I did! Have an awesome day :-)" Wouldn't that be a neat surprise for someone to discover?!
- Do you know a family who is dealing with a chronic illness? If your teen is making supper with you, why not double the recipe and surprise that family with a meal tonight? (Plus, I'm pretty sure your teen will appreciate the driving practice if they've got their permit...)
- Practicing gratitude is a great way to encourage kind behavior! As we think about the things and people we're grateful for, it makes us want to 1) reach out in thanks, and 2) reach out in kind. Send a spontaneous "thank you note" to a friend or relative or pastor or youth leader or neighbor...and tuck in one of the cards from The Hope Deck as a sweet and special extra! (In honor of Random Acts of Kindness week, the folks at The Hope Deck are giving away free sticker templates you can use anytime you're writing to someone or sending a package. Grab them here. And more freebies are in the works...)
- Mentoring is a real "hands-on" way to display a life of kindness to your kiddos. As we get in the trenches with one another, so to speak, we're displaying selfless love. You know what they say: with kids "more is caught than taught!" So let them catch you being kind!
- You can find lots more ways to practice random acts of kindness at the Random Acts of Kindness website. They've got some neat things planned throughout the year so you can keep this concept at the forefront of your mind and heart all the time!
- And I would be remiss if I didn't recommend some sort of reading material related to kindness, right? Here ya' go, then:
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