Maybe the February funk hit us hard this year, or maybe it's the fact we have a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old that sometimes seem to be competing for the title of "most dour attitude", or maybe a valley of life has come around that finds us needing to be reminded of our appreciation for one another. Whatever the reason, I find that there is less kindness in this house than there should be, less kindness than we need to live in a state of harmony. Every attempt on my part to amiably point out the unkindness or just lack of benevolent attitude toward one another has been either rebuffed or has lasted around 5 minutes.
And so the kindness jar was born. Each of these marbles represents an act of kindness or a refrain from unkindness (when it was possibly warranted). We've only been using the kindness jar for a few days, but I can already see (and hear!) fewer snippy words, more generous behavior, and a pleasanter house in general.
Each of the kids has their own kindness jar to fill, from the marbles given to them out of my kindness jar, and when a jar is full, the owner can pick out a (free!) activity for the entire family to enjoy. And the ENTIRE family has to enjoy said activity.
As a bonus, each of the kids can memorize the kindness quote that is attached to his or her kindness jar to earn one of the larger "shooter" marbles. It's not always easy helping kids to see that, much like these marbles, little acts and words of kindness scatter out into the world upon impact, making the world a brighter, more colorful, much more pleasant place. But I'm confident that, one marble at a time, we can increase the kindness inside our household, and hopefully practicing kindness will become habitual...a reflex of kindness.
Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness. ~ Mother Teresa