Tag Archives: kindness

Recap: Kindness Counts!

Photo of the week: Rachel Harris sent in this photo of her adorable little hippy!

This has been a chatty week over at SantaRosaMom.com!  I want to extend a huge welcome to all the new members who have signed up.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed  chatting with all of you!  Here’s a recap of some of the discussions going on over at SantaRosaMom.com:

Quiz your husband!
At the beginning of the school year, kids bring home loads of papers to be filled out with everything from the name of their doctor, emergency contact, and their favorite things.  Typically it’s the mom who has to fill out all the answers to this huge packet of papers.  But we’re going to have a little bit of fun with it.  We’ve come up with 10 back-to-school questions for your hubby to answer.  Quiz him, and let us know how well he did!

Deep, dark mommy secrets
We all have them, those deep, dark mommy secrets.  But some of them would probably have kept us from having kids had we known them pre-family planning.  What are some of yours?

Giving up junk food for a year
I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to keep my family healthy.  So my attention was totally caught by the family who gave up all junk food for an entire year.  It was just supposed to be 100 days, but the challenge proved so beneficial they are keeping it up.  If you had to give up junk food for that long, what would you miss the most?

Mom sued for being a “bad mother”
Two adult children have decided to sue their mother for the years of torture they went through under her parenting.  But wait till you hear what they deem “bad mothering”…  By their definition, what are some of your parenting faults in raising your kids?

What you plant…
Good manners, responsibility, kindness….  They don’t just come naturally.  If we want these things for our children, we must be the ones to instill these virtues in them.  What are YOU doing today to make your child successful tomorrow?

Family Kindness Challenge
The best way to teach a child is through kindness.  How does the saying go?  You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?  It’s so true.  So my challenge to all of you: Say one kind thing to your child every day, and be specific.  Read more to learn how to create more harmony in your household.

Lots of exciting things going on this Labor Day Weekend!  All weekend long is the Taste of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend.  Saturday there will be a Pancake Breakfast in Bodega Bay that the Bodega Fire Hall, and a Sand Sculpture Contest in Point Reyes at Drakes Beach.  In Jenner, the 3rd Annual Fry Your Head Chili Festival & BBQ promises a fun and tasty time for families.  And coming up in the week is the Fall/Back to School Just Between Friends Consignment Event.  The first day is dedicated to some special people (see if you qualify!), but the last three days of the event are for everyone.  Families with little ones will not want to miss this!  For more information on these events, be sure to check out the Events Calendar.

Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day Weekend, and I’ll see you on the forums!

Crissi Dillon

What you plant is what you grow

There’s a universal teaching that goes something like this: “What you plant is what you grow.” It doesn’t matter what religion you are, where your walk of life resides, your financial situation, or your education level – you are not going to get turnips if you plant tomatoes.

This line of thinking is especially true when it comes to raising a family. The amount of work you put into your family is directly connected with the values and knowledge your children will come away with as they develop into adults. Are you hoping your child grows up to be a responsible adult? Do you hope he will be honest? Is it your desire that she is successful? Do you want them to be kind to others, unselfish, and able to take care of themselves when on their own?

What are you doing to get there?

When children are babies, they aren’t born knowing how to walk. In fact, the concept didn’t even occur to them. But as they get older, they see us walking around. And it gives them the idea that they can do it too. We prompt them to come to us, holding our hands out to give them the courage to let go of the table and take a step forward. Our presence gives them assurance. But it’s our example of walking that really teaches them the concept behind standing on their own two feet.

Children learn by watching everything we do. They see when we’re honest, and they see when we lie.  They learn to communicate by our personal skills of communicating (think of that every time you lose your temper…).  If you are living your life with the same values you hope your children will grow up with, there’s a pretty good chance they will.

Eventually kids get old enough to want to ride a bike. So what do we do? We buy them a shiny new bicycle. But we don’t say, “Ok, go ride it.” Instead we put training wheels on it and show them how the pedals work as well as how to steer it. We give them rules to abide by, and then watch them as they teeter along the road. When they’re ready, we take the training wheels off and run alongside them holding on to the back of the seat. But we don’t hold onto that seat forever, we hold on only long enough to give them the confidence they can do it. As soon as they have gathered enough speed and we can feel them taking control of their balance, we let go.

Children aren’t born knowing how to ride their bike, how to do their chores, or how to handle their money or workload.  They need guidance to learn these things. But they also need to accumulate independence. You must teach them everything you hope they’ll be able to do on their own. But as soon as they’ve got a handle on it, let go.

Sometimes things in the family aren’t fine. Dad lost his job. Grandma’s health is failing. The mortgage bill is three months past due. Mom has too much on her plate. Things aren’t going perfectly. And when we’re upset, it’s obvious. Our children sense it. But what to we say when asked if everything is ok? “Everything is fine.” We want to protect the kids from feeling our stress or worrying. But what we are really teaching them is to sweep all their problems under the carpet and just stuff it. We are teaching them that problems are not normal, and they shouldn’t be shared out in the open. We are teaching them to go through suffering alone.

If things aren’t fine, it’s ok for kids to know. Of course, you have to be cognizant of their age in how much is shared. But if you’re worried or upset about something, lying about it doesn’t teach them anything. There are times when things are NOT fine. And it’s ok to admit that.

And most important…

What if we were to say one kind and affirming thing to our children every single day? I’m not just talking about saying “I love you”, though we should be telling them that more than once a day. But something more specific: “You are very generous when you ____.” “You are an amazing ____.” “I’m proud of how you ____.” “You have a gift with ____.”

What would happen if someone said something like this to YOU every day? Wouldn’t you feel really good? Wouldn’t you try harder, knowing your efforts are noticed as well as being proud of yourself?

It’s hard to have a chip on your shoulder when you’re being complimented for something you have been working really hard on. Same goes for your sullen teenager. I promise you, a little kindness goes a long way. Tell them exactly what is amazing about them. Compliment them on their efforts. Build them up. And the next day? Repeat. Don’t let a day pass without giving at least one example of how awesome they are. With time, it will create peace and harmony in the household. Everyone will be happier. And more effort will be made knowing that efforts are being noticed. Who knows? Maybe they might turn around and give some of it back to you.

Oh, and don’t just use this bit of kindness on the kids, include your spouse too. Want that honey-do list whittled down? Praise his way of getting a certain task done whenever he does it. And for even better results, tell him how sexy he looks doing it.