Update on the Value Kindness and Friendliness: A Helping Hands Chart Giveaway!

photo courtesy of Megan Stewart

Editor’s Note: This month, Megan Stewart and Mary Croxford team up to discuss Kindness and Friendliness. As a special bonus, they are giving away a Helping Hands chart from Brite Music! Giveaway details are below!

We love focusing on this value and feel if we all worked on being kind, it would take care of many unpleasant problems that arise from the opposite responses.

Mary: This month has been crazy already. What is it about May? For us it has been the mad rush of the end of school, soccer, church activities, pushed back bedtimes (due to the sun coming up later–the kids are having a harder time falling asleep, which results in a harder time getting everyone up and going in the morning). In fact, the word s  l  o  w  m  o  t  i  o  n comes to  mind and unfortunately we hear ourselves repeating “hurry, hurry” over and over! Also, as many of you already know, with the kids feeling more tired in the morning, their attitudes shifted from the usual pleasantness to complaining, teasing and bickering! Something had to be done!

So when I sat down to read the value, I had an idea. I had recently heard about a mother using a clicker to get herself to focus on positive thoughts so I decided to use a clicker for the value this month and boy it worked beautifully! Here’s how I did it.

photo courtesy of Mary Croxford

As usual, we sat our kids down and talked about the monthly value, kindness and friendliness. We discussed different ways we can show kindness and friendliness to others – family, friends and strangers.  I showed them the clicker. I told them that when I noticed behavior that demonstrates the value “kindness and friendliness” I would click. They could not tell me to click; it would be just when I noticed things. My kids loved this. Our morning DRAMATICALLY changed! They loved seeing the number go up on the clicker. It’s amazing how a little focus can really make a huge difference. Accentuating the positive begets more and more positive.

Megan: A tool that we found useful that we’ve been using this month is the “Helping Hands” chart from Brite Music.

photo courtesy of Megan Stewart

Each person has a hand that moves up the chart when others notice them doing kind deeds. It’s worked beautifully for our kids and has given them a good visual of the progress that they are making. Something else that my hubby and I have talked about trying is taking a day or two to let them move one another’s hands on the chart so they can obtain a different perspective of kindness and friendliness from the receiving end of it.

Kindness and friendliness are habits that require action. If we focus more on them, it becomes easier for us to notice others and ways we can be kind and friendly. Simple things, like opening a door for someone, returning a grocery store cart or grabbing one from someone who is finished unloading to their car, sending off an email of gratitude to a teacher or friend, smiling and saying hello (this is fun to do in an elevator). All these ideas are easy for us to do and for a child to do, as well. Make it a contest when you’re out to see who can notice the most opportunities to reach out with kindness.

photo courtesy of Mary Croxford

A small note about the Internet: it is a SUPER tool to take advantage of and reach out as well as to teach your children to use it in the same way. How easy is it to say something nice to someone or lend some kind words of encouragement or support? It’s fast and convenient to make a small effort to reach out to someone you might not otherwise have the opportunity to do so.

We love to read books and some of our favorites are:

  1. The Spiffiest Giant in Town
  2. The Rainbow Fish
  3. The Kings’ Highway
  4. Horton Hears a Who
  5. Charlotte’s Web
  6. Why Christmas Trees Are Not Perfect and How The Grinch Stole Christmas (I know they’re seasonal but we never tire of Christmas around here!)
  7. The Giving Tree
  8. The Snail and the Whale
  9. Lots of Berenstain Bear books

Some great movies:

  1. The Blind Side
  2. Seabiscuit
  3. Radio
  4. Elf (I know, more Christmas!)
  5. Bambi
  6. Emperor’s New Groove

Some great CD’s from Brite Music:

  1. Show A Little Love-this cd has lots of songs about kindness & friendliness
  2. I Have A Song For You Volume 1 – songs 3 & 4

As we were sitting here writing this article we started discussing how great it is to reach out to others, strangers as well as old friends. So we have decided to extend this challenge not only to ourselves and families tonight at the dinner table, but also to you:

CHALLENGE: Reach out in various ways this month by stopping by to visit someone or inviting someone into your home, talk to someone new you haven’t spoken with before at school, church or another activity, take the time to leave a comment on someone’s blog or website you are following or on Facebook and encourage your kids to do the same. (Texting is so easy too.)

QUESTION: What are you going to do to follow through with the challenge this month or do you have additional ideas that we can benefit from by sharing with our own families? We’d love to hear them!

FREE GIVEAWAY: We love to hear your ideas and thoughts! Please feel free to comment on this article and we will enter each person who comments in a free “Helping Hands Chart” giveaway download from Brite music! The contest ends May 25th at midnight PST. The winner will be announced next Saturday, May 26th.

* This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, rstruhs! *

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Comments

    • says

      With this crazy time of year, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your own to do’ lists and it’s a cehllange to meet just your immediate family’s demands. I appreciate this article and this value being in May. (Mothers are usually good examples of trying to be kind and friendly even when they don’t feel like it) It’s very timely and makes me think to teach my children to look outside themselves. Thank you!

  1. StephJ says

    I have been trying to focus on the positive with my own attitude, and I could see how this could really work with my kids! Thanks for the great tips. Where can I get one of those clickers?
    I also really love the Helping Hands chart. That would work for just about any age, I think!
    StephJ

  2. Heathercreynolds says

    This month we made “blessing bags” for people asking for money on street corners. We included a little first aid kit, toothbrush and toothpaste, hand sanitizer, snacks, a juice box, and a note. My 7 year old wrote some sweet notes, including “You can have hope.” :) it feels great to hand them out instead of avoiding eye contact!!

    • says

      I love the ideas! Our current dinenr topic has been to share 1 good & 1 bad for the day from each family member. This week, we’ll have each family member share one kind act they have received as well as one kind act they have bestowed. I can see a great attitude shift in myself if I’m constantly recognizing the kind/helpful acts & get to praise them verbally as well as visually with the chart.

  3. says

    I love this! And that chart would do wonders for my son! Every night we tell each other what we did to help someone or be kind to someone that day, but having a visual for him would be even better. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      This month we made blessing bags for pelpoe asking for money on street corners. We included a little first aid kit, toothbrush and toothpaste, hand sanitizer, snacks, a juice box, and a note. My 7 year old wrote some sweet notes, including You can have hope. it feels great to hand them out instead of avoiding eye contact!!

  4. Mary Croxford says

    Charts are great! We have a bunch and take turns working with them to keep them fresh and fun! I love what you are doing with your kiddos Heather! How very kind! It’s amazing how when we reach out to do something kind for someone we are the ones that really beneifit! I love that feeling!

    We started a “Take and Bake” last month (you can read more about that here-http://bryceandmarycroxford.blogspot.com/2012/05/bake-and-take-sunday.html which is great for this value as well.

    StephJ I got my clicker at this website – http://www.billionclicks.org/list/category/clickers/# I have used it for many things already to help either enlist my kids support or help or to just help me be more aware!

    Good Luck ladies and thank you so much for sharing your wonderful ideas and thoughts! I love how we can bounce things off each other on this website. I am always searching for new ideas for my family as well as feelings of support from others.

    HUGS TO YOU ALL!

  5. ziff130 says

    I love the clicker idea. And… thanks for the link. I was going to ask where you get the clicker from!! Hopefully that will work for our little family too. :)

    • says

      What a great way to focus on the positive. Now that sumemr vacation is just around the corner, I will need all the help I can get to maintain a positive attitude in our house (3 kids and one on the way). We always think of someone to pray for before bed, but I want them all to be more active in spreading love and kindness, especially with each other.

  6. MelE says

    We love the book “Have You Filled a Bucket Today” to teach about kindness. Also, for Memorial Day our Grandma gives us $10 to spend towards flowers for a gravesite. Since we don’t live near any family cemeteries, we can pick an empty plot to show our love.

  7. rstruhs says

    With this crazy time of year, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your own ‘to do’ lists and it’s a challenge to meet just your immediate family’s demands. I appreciate this article and this value being in May. (Mothers are usually good examples of trying to be kind and friendly… even when they don’t feel like it) It’s very timely and makes me think to teach my children to look outside themselves. Thank you!

  8. nnbrown37 says

    I love the ideas! Our current dinner topic has been to share 1 good & 1 bad for the day from each family member. This week, we’ll have each family member share one kind act they have received as well as one kind act they have bestowed. I can see a great attitude shift in myself if I’m constantly recognizing the kind/helpful acts & get to praise them verbally as well as visually with the chart.

  9. Shannon says

    I have a clicker and I love the idea of enlisting my kids in it more fully. My husband often asks the kids when he gets home, “what did you do to help _____ today?” I love it because it focuses their actions and habits outward.

  10. Martha Morrison says

    This was a great article and something that I plan to implement. Each week, we have a family meeting which consists of (1) appreciations for each person, (2) reviewing schedule, (3) allowance, (4) snack, and (5) family game. I’m going to add “virtue of the week” to this now. Thanks for this idea!

  11. says

    Thanks for this. I am on a “no-complaining fast” for a month to bring back my positive nature. I am also accepting this challenge of adding sunshine to another’s day. Thanks for the inspiration and to the one comment about the “blessing bags” – we are going to try that, too. Anything to help my daughters become more friendly will be welcome in our home!

  12. Mary Croxford says

    I LOVE all your ideas! My favorite part of writing an article is reading other people’s and comments and ideas. I learn so much from all of you great mothers out there! Thank you so much!

  13. Summer says

    What a great way to focus on the positive. Now that summer vacation is just around the corner, I will need all the help I can get to maintain a positive attitude in our house (3 kids and one on the way). We always think of someone to pray for before bed, but I want them all to be more active in spreading love and kindness, especially with each other.

  14. Audra says

    I love focusing on the good things my kids do. They respond so well to it and i am a happier mom when I do postivie reinforcement. The flicker and the helping hands charts are great simple ideas that I can wrap my brain around! I made an effort to do the things you suggested this month to reach out to family and friends by commenting on their blogs and social networks. I invited some moms over to have a playgroup and visited with them. I talked to a new family on our street and made new friends. It felt good to reach out to others and not focus so much on myself!

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