Random Acts of KID-ness
About a year ago, it was a crazy Saturday, and I mean a 3 birthday party and 2 soccer game kind of day. A day only kids dream of, and parent’s dread. It was between party 2 and 3, and Tripp started whining, “I’m soooooo bored!” I’m pretty sure I turned into the devil for a hot second, and I yelled; “Are you kidding me? This ENTIRE day has been about you. It is not my job to entertain you. Now, go find something to do!” If I recall correctly, I went to my oasis, the closet, and said to myself; “When did my child become so spoiled and self-absorbed?” I thought, I’ve lost the ability to live in the moment and taught them to always live for what’s next? This is the complete opposite of the values I’m passionate about hammering into them. At that very moment, I vowed to myself that I would make it a priority in our schedule for my kids to give back to our community.
Go ahead and say it, “The theory is great, but I don’t have time to do this, hell, I barely have an extra second to wash their clothes!” But, who said making any sort of impact on one person has to take much time? I’m talking simple acts of kindness that children, of any age, can do (roll the trash down for a neighbor, smile at someone, draw a “thank you for all you do” card, and give it to someone who is courteous, like a cashier or a teacher. Parents spend an insane amount of money on over the top events for our kids providing them constant stimulation. Now is the time to teach them it’s in giving we receive, and there are people out there who need them.
Hours upon hours of our children’s lives are consumed by learning math, english, history, and science, but how much time do they spend learning how to be a good human being? To care when others are in need, smile when others are in despair , or to give hope to someone who feels they have nothing left. Seriously, aren’t those the morals worth teaching? It’s our job, as parents, to teach them how to treat others…we are their best example.
In case you want some ideas, here are some things we’ve done in the past year:
- Brought treats to our local firefighters with money they earned from their lemonade stand;
- Decorated pumpkins for the elderly at the nursing homes;
- Bought gifts for the children of the angel tree;
- Contacted the Nature Conservancy and helped clean up litter at one of their parks;
- Decorated birthday cards for children in homeless shelters;
- Turner asked his friends to bring stuff for The Van, who helps our local homeless, instead of birthday gifts to his party.
- There really are so many options that are easy and fun. To help, I’ve created a Facebook page where I’ll start posting ideas and things we are going to do, in case you want to get your kiddos involved or do the same thing.
My intent is to stop focusing on where my kids are going instead of where they are right now. Once they realize contentment comes not from the outside but what’s from within, they will be able to handle any sort of feelings they have, even boredom.