Raise your hand if you have ever set goals for yourself, your child, or your family. Raise your hand if you've met those goals, didn't met those goals or forgot you even set a goal in the first place. LOL! I can raise my hand to all of these things.
As I was sitting at a parent-teacher conference for my 4-year old (yes, they have those) and we were discussing learning goals for the next semester... it made me think about personal goals for her, myself and our family. My thought process went a little like this: Goal #1: Teach her to show kindness towards others. Goal #2: Model kindness towards her. Goal #3: Model kindness towards my family, when she has the covers pulled over her head refusing to get out of bed, my other child is wiping his nose on my dress & my husband is casually getting ready in silence downstairs. See how complicated achieving my goals can get?!?
So then I started to think about just celebrating the little wins... the small steps towards our goals, no matter how small. Today my daughter let her brother go first with brushing his teeth... one small act of kindness- one small win!
To reward kindness, we created "Kindness Jars." Each time one of my children displays kindness I give a big labeled praise such as "Thanks for being so kind towards your brother by letting him go first" or "I love it when you show kindness by helping me." Etc Etc. Then my kids get to pick out a little pom pom ball to put in their kindness jar. Once our kindness jars are looking pretty full- my kids get a surprise ranging from stickers, a sweet treat, extra screen time, picking out the game we play at night, etc.
I broke my goal of increasing kindness down by choosing to celebrate the little acts of kindness & give big praises. Maybe you have a different idea! I'd love it hear it. Regardless of what goals you set, achieve or don't achieve... remember to celebrate those little wins!
-Katie Smith, PCIT Mom & Kindness Influencer