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Be thankful and kind

November 12, 2012 - Kristy MacKaben
If you're on Facebook, you've probably noticed the "I'm thankful for..." countdown until Thanksgiving. Every day, you're supposed to post something different. I didn't join the bandwagon, though I think it's definitely worthwhile to force yourself to think about all the things for which you're thankful. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. More importantly I've been thinking about how to create an atmosphere of gratitude and kindness in our house. As fate would have it, the perfect opportunity presented itself last week. Last Sunday Julie got into a little bit of trouble with a neighborhood friend. (Scott will have a fit if I describe exactly what happened.) Let's just say, it was something she did, but definitely knew not to do. Anyway, in addition to some consquences, such as no play dates for a week and no TV, iPad, or dessert for a week, we thought it would be a great time to have the kids think about being kind. Every day last week, Julie was supposed to do at least one nice thing for someone else. It was her choice. She could pick the deed and the person for which she wanted to bestow her kindness. At first there was some backlash. "This is so not fair! Why do I have do this? I don't like being nice." As the week progressed, however, Julie began choosing more and more nice things to do each day, and they became more elaborate. She even included her brother in the kind acts. By the end of the week, she was washing dishes, sweeping the kitchen floor, helping Johnny get dressed and drawing pictures for family members....all without being asked. Even better was the rest of the family joined in. One morning I let the cashier keep the change from a $5 bill after buying a $1 diet soda. Johnny shared especially nice with his sister, and piled on the "I love yous." Scott agreed to go to church as a family on Sunday, (our first time since the move), and he loved it. Being kind is definitely contagious.


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