Family Kindness Challenge
If you spend any time watching the news, you won’t have to wait long to be reminded a lot of things are going on in the world that make it worse for the wear. Why not try to spread some kindness, giving others (and your own family) something positive to focus on? Both you and your kids will enjoy benefits, as will those on the receiving end of your kind gestures. As Flora Edwards said, “In helping others, we help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.”
Being kind makes you happier
Being nice to others doesn’t just benefit them, it gives you a boost too. If you have ever been able to help out a friend or a stranger in a time of need, you know first-hand how being helpful actually makes you feel happy. Doing nice things for others boosts your serotonin. “Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that gives us the feeling of satisfaction and well-being,” says Lara Honos-Webb, PhD, in Psychology Today. “Most of the antidepressant medications work by increasing the amount of serotonin available to your brain. All of this means doing nice things for other people changes your brain in ways that make you feel better.”
Being kind makes you healthier
People who volunteer in the community and are charitable to others often experience lower stress levels and improved overall health. According to the Happier Human website, statistics show people who are kind have less physical pain, get better quality sleep and exercise more.
Being kind builds self-esteem
We parents are always looking for ways to build self-esteem in our kids. Helping others and being generous with our time and talents actually can help build self-esteem, because when we help someone, we feel like we have value and a purpose. We are also letting someone else know they are important and mean something to us.
Being kind doesn’t have to be time-consuming, expensive or hard. Simple acts of kindness can both show someone we care and benefit us as well. Open the door for someone, pick up litter as you pass, send a note or card in the mail or simply smile at others and you spread kindness. Our kids follow our lead in how we treat others, and kindness will become natural for them over time.
Simple Ways to Spread Kindness
- “Take emptied trash bins up for your neighbors,” says Sarah Imbierowicz, mom of seven.
- “My kids would always take a cold bottle of Coke or water out to the garbage collector,” says Sharon Wade, mom of three.
- “Always hold the door for people behind you,” says Jeri Chester.
- “Always be courteous to others because you never know what someone might be going through,” says Nikki Rhyme, mom of five.
- “Walk someone's dog, help neighbors with yard work or shoveling in the winter,” says Geri Geveshausen, mom and grandma.
- “When we see things that need done, I suggest we do them. For example, helping people struggling at the store, taking a meal to a family or grabbing coffee for a friend who needs a boost,” says Kara Thomas.
- “Write or draw thank you notes,” says Kathy Hromadka, mom and grandma.
Mom of six Sarah Lyons lives in Olathe with her family.