We see our own human nature so truthfully portrayed as we watch our young children. Self control, gentleness, sharing, and kindness are often exercised only when they desire to. Unfortunately, it’s often the case with adults too, including myself.
It is so much easier to reach out, to share, and to respond to someone else’s needs when we want to. The gift of kindness involves teaching our children that it is always about thinking of others before themselves, even at the most inconvenient times. Acts of kindness are all about bringing happiness to the lives of people around us. The wonderful thing is that simple acts can be done everywhere!
Teaching Simple Acts of Kindness
We were so excited to be a part of a group of bloggers today who are sharing ideas of how they are helping their children learn about simple acts of kindness or deeds that can set off a chain reaction. The idea started from a wonderful book by Emily Pearson titled, Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed. (Affiliate Link)
The book details an ordinary girl who has a very ordinary life and decides to do a very simple act of kindness that ends up setting off a chain reaction around the world. It’s an inspiring book that encourages kids to look for the simplest ways to bless others around them and hopefully inspire them to pass on the good!
Often our lives are so jammed packed that we forget to look at all the opportunities in front of us to pass on kindness. We have tried to instill in our kids the desire to dig deep even when they may not feel like it, to ALWAYS keep their eyes open for these opportunities. You never know what simple act can change the world!
In teaching our kids the qualities of kindness we try to have them understand the primary factor behind it is that it’s always about others. In 2011, our son Jackson was diagnosed with a very rare and serious heart condition. We have spent the last couple of years in and out of the hospital for appointments, testing, and countless hours watching others pace the halls anxiously waiting for results.
At our last appointment we knew it would be the perfect place to start a chain reaction of good deeds. It would teach our kids that even on a difficult day for us, it is also the perfect opportunity to share the love of Jesus with others who were going through the same thing.
The kids began by making special cards for their nurses and doctors. Jackson who is 2, decorated all of his with stickers and then colored over the top of them with markers. Who can resist that creativity? Ava, our little helper decorated almost a dozen cards with writing and drawings that could cheer up anybody!
We also decorated over 80 snack bags to hand out to patients and their families with little love notes that said:
” Hospital days can be long, so we hope this little snack helps get you through the obstacles you are facing. Be courageous and know that someone is praying and cheering for you today.”
As our appointment day arrived, the kids excitedly marched into the hospital with their basket full of snack bags and were anxious to spread the love. My heart was so blessed to see how something simple could bring a smile to others around us that were facing some of their greatest battles.
What a challenge for both us and the kids that even on days when we could easily be consumed with our own circumstances, that those very circumstances open the perfect opportunity to share the love and hope of Jesus with others. Who knows how far that love was truly shared and how deeply it inspired others to pay it forward. All it takes is ordinary people living ordinary lives to make the extraordinary happen.
We hope you have been inspired to look around at your circumstances and find ways that you can simply reach out to others. Please enjoy reading from our other group bloggers as they share their simple ideas today too!
Courtney Byrne says
These are great ideas! Thank you for sharing in this special project with us.
Courtney Byrne recently posted…Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed: Teaching Kids Kindness
LuAnn Meyer says
What a blessing to me that you shared this lovely idea! Thank you for YOUR family! May God bless your little one with good health in the days to come!
I found your blog in The Sunday Showcase Linkup. What a wonderful post! I just started asking my children at the dinner table what service they did that day. They had a hard time coming up with answers, and, like you discussed, I need to help them always look for opportunities, and then recognize that even the simplest acts count as service. Thank you also for the great book recommendation!
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Thank you for sharing and giving us the chance to teach our children with these new great ideas.
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