Kindness doesn’t come naturally and it honestly isn’t easy.
I was in a pretty good mood one afternoon when I gave my 13-year-old son a hug.
Until he told me I smelled like sauerkraut.
My 15-year-old son immediately said, “Dude! You can’t say stuff like that to mom!”
Then he and my husband started backing out of the room.
Kindness is a Constant Effort
I’m trying very hard to raise my boys to be kind and respectful–and to know how to treat girls and women in particular. Most of the time they do a great job.
And then sometimes they’re just kids.
It’s a good thing I have a sense of humor and can joke around with all of my boys. I’ve said it before, but laughter is a survival skill that has served me incredibly well.
But back to teaching them to be kind…
Kindness Doesn’t Come Naturally
I’m still working on that one. Actually, I’m ALWAYS working on that one because kindness honestly isn’t easy.
It doesn’t come naturally and we’re all guilty of being unkind or downright mean at some point in life.
Like gratitude, you have to focus on kindness and be intentional about it before it becomes ingrained in your life. It’s a muscle you need to work.
Easy Ways To Practice Kindness
It doesn’t have to be Random Acts of Kindness Day to practice being kind. Here are a few ways you and your family might work your kindness muscle:
- Compliment a stranger.
- Be more generous with your tip.
- Donate to or volunteer at a nonprofit organization.
- Put a handwritten card in the mail to someone who could use a pick-me-up.
- Email a teacher and include a gift card for coffee. (Starbucks makes it really easy from their app.)
- Follow social media accounts that give you a daily dose of kindness and happy news. Some of our favorites are @greatergoodmag @goodable @thekindnessrocksproject @rakfoundation (Bonus points if you get your teens to follow them too!)
- Do a chore for someone else in your family.
- Text a picture to family you don’t see as often as you’d like. Let them know you miss them.
- Hug the people you love a little longer today.
What other ideas do you have? Let us know in the comments!
P.S. I still have no idea why he said I smelled like sauerkraut.