Aug 222013
 

Below is the next installment in the popular series on Random Acts of Kindness. Each month, a blogger shares the random acts of kindness they have committed with their little ones. You can visit the Random Acts of Kindness page to see previous installments of this series. You can also follow the Random Acts of Kindness Pinterest Board.

Today’s post comes to us from my friend Chelsea of Moments a Day.  Her blog is full of wonderful ideas to build children’s characters in ways that are both inspiring and practical.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Leanna’s Random Acts of Kindness series since it started up last year.  It is so inspiring to see what mothers are doing with their children to spread kindness in their families, communities, and throughout the world.

Over the past month, my family has done several kindness inspired activities which have given me several insights.

Here were some of the highlights:

(Feel free to click on the photo to go to a full post about the activity!)

We brainstormed all the ways we could be kind, found photographs to represent the ideas, and then created a Kindness Corner in our home.

Teaching Kindness {Random Acts of Kindness Series} - Moments A Day on Alldonemonkey.com

We played a drawing game to think about how using kind (and unkind) voices makes people feel.

Teaching Kindness {Random Acts of Kindness Series} - Moments A Day on Alldonemonkey.com

We went to the mall and gave a little gift to random children to brighten their day.

Teaching Kindness {Random Acts of Kindness Series} - Moments a Day on Alldonemonkey.com

While tackling these projects and thinking so much about kindness, I began to reflect more on how exactly I am modeling kindness to my children.  Here are some of the questions I asked myself:

Am I speaking and making requests with a kind tone?
Am I treating my husband with kindness?
Am I being compassionate when my children are struggling?
Am I being kind to myself when I am having challenges?

I have realized that, while kindness seems like such a simple idea, it is actually a very in depth concept which can affect every single action of the day.  The effects of kindness are limitless.

These reflections have helped me try to recognize and encourage acts of kindness in our home more often, to bring a more positive and kind attitude to my role as a mom.

Teaching Kindess {Random Acts of Kindness Series} - Moments a Day on Alldonemonkey.com

Even though the actions I see may not be *huge* on their own, they are affecting all the people in my home… who then go out and spread kindness to others… who then spread kindness to others… and the acts of kindness go on and on.  This makes me feel even more inspired to celebrate the little acts I see every day.

I hope that through the coming seasons of motherhood I can learn to incorporate more acts of kindness into our daily and yearly routines, and that some of our projects can grow in complexity as my children become older and choose for themselves what actions they would like to take to spread kindness in our community.  I’m very thankful for all the ideas being shared, and I look forward to learning more through experience and reading about others’ experiences as well.

By simply talking about and sharing ideas, we are all bring a little more kindness into the world!

Moments a DayChelsea is a mom of two young boys and blogs at Moments a Day sharing activities, ideas, and resources for families to connect and build character.  She believes in using small moments throughout the day to help children learn how to use their head, heart, and hands to make the world a better place.  Join her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to stay in touch.

Note: There are many stories of kindness going around the blogosphere.  Sheila from Pennies of Time recently put out an amazing compilation of blogs that try to make a difference in the world (which both All Done Monkey and Moments A Day are featured in!) which you can find here.

Pennies of Time - Bloggers Who Inspire the World to Help Others

If you are looking for even more ways to spread kindness in the world, you may find some inspiring projects and ideas there.

Random Acts of Kindness - Alldonemonkey.comYou can see a full schedule of the posts in this series by visiting the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page. You can also follow the Random Acts of Kindness Pinterest Board.
Jul 082013
 

Below is the next installment in the popular series on Random Acts of Kindness. Each month, a blogger shares the random acts of kindness they have committed with their little ones. You can visit the Random Acts of Kindness page to see previous installments of this series. You can also follow the Random Acts of Kindness Pinterest Board.

Today’s post comes to us from Alli of The House of Hendrix.  I am so pleased to have this wonderful story of kids who really do make a difference – and have fun doing it!

Corn Gleaning Party: Random Acts of Kindness - The House of Hendrix on Alldonemonkey.comThank you to Leanna for allowing me to visit through the Random Acts of Kindness series. It is a joy to be here.

When my daughter told me she wanted to take her friends corn gleaning for her 10th birthday, I was speechless for many reasons. Would other 10 year-old girls want to glean the hot fields of Florida?  Would they even know what gleaning was? Would they show up at 7am on a Saturday morning to drive 45 minutes to a field?

I challenged my daughter with beach and slumber party options before becoming incredibly thankful for the convictions of her heart. I’ve learned that a strong-willed child may sometimes be hard to parent but when you see it directed in the right direction, it is their greatest strength. They can change the world.

Corn Gleaning Party: Random Acts of Kindness - The House of Hendrix on Alldonemonkey.com

So corn gleaning it was! Gleaning is the process of going into fields that have already been harvested and picking the leftovers for the homeless and hungry. She invited 7 girls to her “Corn Gleaning celebration” and they all showed up!Corn Gleaning Party: Random Acts of Kindness - The House of Hendrix on Alldonemonkey.com

We made special t-shirts for each friend.  We ate corn muffins and candy corn. We told corny jokes and laughed a lot!Corn Gleaning Party: Random Acts of Kindness - The House of Hendrix on Alldonemonkey.com

The girls rocked it. They sweat, got dirty, scratched up and exhausted. They had a blast! They picked enough corn to fill the entire back of a pick up truck. They bagged it and then presented it to a gentleman in a truck who was taking it directly to a homeless shelter. That corn was going to feed the hungry that same night! Those girls left knowing they made a difference in the world beyond birthday cake.

Corn Gleaning Party: Random Acts of Kindness - The House of Hendrix on Alldonemonkey.com

I learned that the intentional opportunities we give our children to serve others… giving food to a man on the street, walking a dog for an elderly neighbor, or baking cookies to brighten somebody’s day, shape not only our children’s view of the world and their role in it, but the desires of their heart. They start to notice the needs around them and naturally want to meet those needs with active kindness. Our children learn the power of a smile, a helping hand, and a word of encouragement.  Let’s raise a generation confident that smalls act of kindness can change the world we live in.

Corn Gleaning Party: Random Acts of Kindness - The House of Hendrix on Alldonemonkey.com

For more information on finding farms in your area to fight hunger visit Society of St. Andrew: Gleaning America’s Fields.

TheHouseofHendrix.comWe are the House of Hendrix, a family of where joy, imperfection, and grace abound. I have learned my family is not supposed to look like yours and, despite all of our imperfections, we have been blessed with great JOY. It is what I treasure most about our home.  I love to create and am continuously inspired.  I believe the thought behind a gift is more important than the gift itself. Together my husband and I want to live our life as a beautiful offering to God. We are the House of Hendrix.  You can also follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Random Acts of Kindness - Alldonemonkey.comYou can see a full schedule of the posts in this series by visiting the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page. You can also follow the Random Acts of Kindness Pinterest Board.
Jun 102013
 

Below is the next installment in the popular series on Random Acts of Kindness. Each month, a blogger shares the random acts of kindness they have committed with their little ones. You can visit the Random Acts of Kindness page to see previous installments of this series. You can also follow the Random Acts of Kindness Pinterest Board.

Today’s post comes to us from Sheila at Pennies of Time, who has committed to doing service with her young sons EVERY DAY.  I am so honored to feature the service they did to help with the tornado relief in Oklahoma. Thank you, Sheila, for sharing with us!

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and learning from the previous posts for All Done Monkey’s Random Acts of Kindness Series!  I gain so much by seeing how others serve with their children.  My boys and I complete an act of service every day.  We have been doing this for the past 10 months, and all of us have been thrilled with this type of focus in our home.  Usually, we spend 15-20 minutes each day either planning an act of service, completing an act of service, or reading about acts of service.  Sometimes, we get so caught up we lose track of time and end up spending longer (those are our favorite times).

This particular experience was different than our typical daily acts of service.  Our daily acts of service prepared my boys to be successful and ready to help on this day.

A day after the tornadoes hit Moore, Oklahoma, we decided that we needed to be active in helping the survivors.  We live close enough to go.  The boys are hard workers and are comfortable with helping others in need.

I sent out a text to several of my friends.  I asked for First Aid Kits, water, and Gatorade.  Thursday, I collected supplies from them.  (BOY!  They were generous. The trunk was packed full of water, Gatorade, snacks, diapers, and First Aid Kits.)

The boys and I put together First Aid Kits with children in mind.  This was fun and also a great preparation activity to teach the boys about some of the things that they would see and hear.  We also grabbed the homeless care kits that we made a week earlier.  I was sure that someone would need those toiletries.

Friday morning, we loaded the car and were off to Oklahoma.  We focused our efforts on the areas outside Moore, on those areas that had not received as much support.

We Ended Up Doing Three Types of Work:

#1 Listening to survivors tell stories.  Oftentimes, the survivors couldn’t even articulate what was needed.  We would listen to them tell the story of the disaster, over and over.  The survivors needed the chance to process, verbally, what was happening to their lives.  My family was the perfect recipient for those stories.  The boys listened with intent and offered comedic relief with their little boy antics.

#2  Delivering supplies to survivors in hard to reach area.  Many people needed water.  The hard part was that many roads were closed.  Also, in some cases it was hard to know where to go as the street signs were gone.  Finding survivors that were without water and supplies ended up being as meaningful as hearing the stories. 

One older gentleman we found was without water, electricity, AND a vehicle.  He also, we discovered, was diabetic.  I was so grateful for the snacks that were donated so we had something he could eat.

The boys had a chance to see how the devastation also affected families *and* the wildlife in the area.  There were so many animals in places that they shouldn’t be, walking around during the time of the day when they should be sleeping, roaming the streets as if they were trying to find their homes, and . . . oh goodness, the dogs.  We saw dozens and dozens of dogs roaming around, separated from their families.

 
These pictures show just a few of the sites where the boys helped,
by delivering supplies and cleaning debris.

#3  Cleaning up debris.  This is the part that most people gasp in horror at . . . your children helped clean up debris?  Yes.  We are cautious parents–well, I am a cautious parent.  (My husband hugs the other end of the spectrum.  Together we balance out.)  They wore protective gear and were given tasks that were appropriate for them.  And, they worked HARD!

Not only were our kids hard working, but the people we were helping were truly touched that little kids wanted to help also. 

    • One person said,”They may be young now, but by the time they are ten years old, they are going to be powerhouses, and they will know how to serve.”
    • “It warms my heart to know that people are teaching our young generation to think of others and serve,” said a lady who was brought to tears watching our boys clean up her destroyed property.

Notes from that day:

Only 3:30 and we are beat. Distributing supplies and clearing debris . . . doing whatever asked. And, of course, my six year old was caught on camera by a news guy when he donated his own gloves to a little girl so she could help look for lost family photos.  My four year old got to ride a tractor.

A surprise: the struggle to decide what to keep and toss. One lady just had the hardest time deciding if stuff was worth saving. So may decisions to make during an overwhelming time.

One group of guys helped put on a temporary roof support for a home so that the contents inside would be protected from the rain . . . all made with scraps from that same destroyed home. A great experience for our boys. Many people mentioned how it was great to see kids helping.

 
 

It is amazing to see the caring hearts of all the volunteers that are here.  Many drove from far away places, several states over, to come help.  We saw: school groups, moms with teens, Boy Scout troops, Veterans, dads sacrificing vacation time and time with their families to help out.

Volunteers brought donated supplies like we did.  Many brought their trucks, chainsaws, tools, trailers, and other necessary supplies.  Watching what willing hearts can do when working together was incredible!

We wish we could have stayed longer. They need help, and it is also inspiring to see how others help.  If I ever am needed to help in this way again, I would add sunscreen and flashlights to the “need to donate” list.

Many people have asked me what they can do to help others when a crisis hits or there is a disaster.  Often times, we don’t live near the situation and feel helpless.  The following posts were written in response to those questions and I hope you find them helpful.

How Kids Can Help in Time of Disaster

Acts of Kindness in Times of Crisis

Leaving Kindness for Children in Oklahoma

Sheila @ Pennies of Time began her career in education by working with children and continues to serve as an advocate for children that are at-risk.   She has taught in a variety of settings from a classroom in small town Texas to a psychiatric unit in Chicago. 
She is the mother of two young boys and is the voice of Pennies of Time where she shares the adventures of serving with her two young boys. You can see more of what they do on Facebook, Twitter, and and Pinterest.

Random Acts of Kindness - Alldonemonkey.comYou can see a full schedule of the posts in this series by visiting the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page. You can also follow the Random Acts of Kindness Pinterest Board.
May 142013
 

I am so pleased to announce the return of the popular series on Random Acts of Kindness. What started as a temporary series last fall is now a regular feature. Each month, a blogger shares the random acts of kindness they have committed with their little ones. You can visit the Random Acts of Kindness page to see previous installments of this series. You can also follow the Random Acts of Kindness Pinterest Board. I have been truly inspired by these wonderful posts!

Today we learn ways to show kindness to the homeless, from Jill of amazing Moms Gone Global.  She sent me this post as she was packing for vacation: Talk about commitment!  Thank you, Jill, for this great post!

Teaching Kindness: Moms Gone Global - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.comI feel honored to be a part of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. Thank you Leanna for putting this series together and for giving me the opportunity to participate!

Teaching compassion is a cornerstone of raising good global citizens. When driving around our city, we witness many homeless individuals in need of compassion every day.

Therefore, the focus of our random act of kindness is to give hope and aid to these homeless individuals on the street by providing them with care kits.

It is very important for parents to model empathy and charity when it comes to the plight of the homeless. It’s easy to look the other way and ignore the people on the street who are holding up signs in a state of desperation, but kids must learn to see these individuals as human beings who deserve kindness, comfort and consideration.

Some argue that giving to the homeless enables them and perpetuates their predicament. I believe that being generous with the homeless is necessary and good for the community.

To help the homeless is a compassionate act which is a high virtue and demonstrates a concern for the welfare of others without judgment. This sets a good example for the community. Further, to help the homeless in their time of need is a model of good behavior that may inspire them. It may also provide them the hope that is required to lift themselves out of a bad situation. They may one day pass those acts of generosity onto others — as kindness can be contagious.

With these sentiments in mind, I thought it would be a great idea to put together care kits and personally deliver them to the some of the people we see standing on the streets each day hoping for handouts. Speaking to a homeless person while making eye contact with them is a great way to show them respect and let them know that you recognize their value as a person. This provides them a sense of dignity that they rarely experience.

The care kits we created consisted of a reusable shopping bag filled with healthy snacks and personal hygiene items including sanitizer, toothpaste, toothbrushes, moisturizer, tissue packs, wipes and deodorant.

Teaching Kindness: Moms Gone Global - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.com

In an effort to feed the recipients’ souls, we included a small handwritten heart-shaped note in each bag.

Teaching Kindness: Moms Gone Global - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.com

The men and women we have approached on the streets were all very polite and appeared genuinely thankful for the gifts. We have seen most of them before, but only through the car windows. To engage in a conversation with them made a big impression on my boys. They now understand that these folks are real human beings who need and deserve compassion and comfort like the rest of us.

There are many ways to be kind to people who are homeless and looking to rebuild their lives. Several programs exist in shelters that require interested volunteers. In most instances, all that is needed is a small amount of your time.

Each member of our family volunteers at our local shelter which provides many services to the homeless in our city. The boys donate their outgrown clothing, toys and books to the shelter on a regular basis. We work at the donation center during the holiday season, and I serve as a reading tutor for some amazing children at the shelter’s elementary school.

Another easy way to engage in a random act of kindness for the homeless is to carry fast-food gift cards with you and hand them out when you see a person in need. This is a great option for those who have any fears about the way a cash gift could be spent.

Links for more information about helping the homeless:

GiveBackpacks.org is an organization dedicated to supporting the homeless population in Austin. Visit the organization’s website for ideas on what items homeless are often in need of.

Homeless Shelter Directory to find a homeless shelter near you.

35 Ways to Help the Homeless

 

Moms Gone Global

Jill is the co-founder of Moms Gone Global, whose goal is to help parents foster cultural awareness within their children so that they may grow up with a meaningful understanding and appreciation of diversity.  The website’s contributors write about their experiences as they endeavor to enrich their children’s global education by the exploration of foods, music, languages, customs and traditions of the world’s cultures.
 
Random Acts of Kindness - Alldonemonkey.comYou can see a full schedule of the posts in this series by visiting the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page. You can also follow the Random Acts of Kindness Pinterest Board.
Apr 082013
 

Random Acts of Kindness - Alldonemonkey.comI am so pleased to announce the return of the popular series on Random Acts of Kindness.  What started as a temporary series last fall is now a regular feature.  Each month, a blogger will share the random acts of kindness they have committed with their little ones.  You can visit the Random Acts of Kindness page to see previous installments of this series.  You can also follow the Random Acts of Kindness Pinterest Board.  I have been truly inspired by these wonderful posts!

Today’s post comes to us from Varya of Little Artists (now Creative World of Varya).  Varya participated in the series last fall as well, and I will always remember where I was when her Random Acts of Kindness post was published.  Several days earlier I had scheduled her post, which was lucky, because that morning – at almost exactly the time Varya’s post was published – our baby was born!  Hopefully today’s post will be a little less eventful for us 🙂

Random Acts of Kindness start at home: children learn from our examples and then surprise us with the most amazing randomness!

Since our second daughter was born, I could feel that our first one felt strongly about the shift of attention. Luckily, despite being a very spirited child, she is also very kind, caring and loving. So she never takes her frustrations out on her baby sister. Sometimes she was hesitant when I asked her to help with some chores if I was busy with the baby. And she would come and interfere when the baby was going to sleep (ask for things, insist on also sleeping with us, etc).

At some point I had to leave the baby and run off to the bathroom. My older daughter was in another room. After calling her a few times and getting no response, I gave up and ran off to the bathroom. The baby started crying almost immediately and then suddenly became quiet. I got so worried and hurried back just to the following: My older daughter was laying down next to her sister assuring her in a kind, soft voice that mommy will be back soon and then she started singing nursery rhymes for her.

Random Acts of Kindness - Sibling Love - Little Artists on Alldonemonkey

(Note: this particular shot was taken much later, I didn’t have a camera at that time with me!)

I just stood there, outside the door, and adored this newfound connection between two sisters.

A few weeks later, we were on the bus with both girls and there was a young mom with a small baby sitting next to us. The baby started crying. So my older daughter said: “Aww, poor baby is crying!” and … just started singing some Chinese song quite loud and clapping her hands. Needless to say, the baby stopped crying and was starring at her. There were few people but they all started smiling. We had to get off so we weren’t sure what happened next.

This random act of kindness towards another baby made me think that in fact our children don’t just ignore what we ask them to do or what we do. They absorb and learn all the time.

What are the Random Acts of Kindness your children do? Share with me!

Creative World of Varya

Little ArtistsVarya is the mother of 2 beautiful girls, an ESL teacher, a Montessori teacher and a dance teacher. She enjoys music and singing and grew up on Classical music and fairy tales. One of her strong desires is for the younger generation to keep developing their talents and abilities not only through the means of technical progress (TV, computers and so on) but through the traditional art and crafts. Creative World of Varya is about creative development of children. Varya trained with Baby’s First Massage and Oh Baby! Fitness. She also draws upon the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith, including the principle that the world is but one country. You can find Varya on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
You can see a full schedule of the posts in this series by visiting the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page.
This post has been shared at Natural Mothers Network’s Seasonal Celebration.
Dec 202012
 
 December 20, 2012  Random Acts of Kindness 3 Responses »

PhotobucketThis is the eighth installment in our new series on Random Acts of Kindness. Each week a different blogger shares about a day that they and their little ones dedicated to committing random acts of kindness.

Be sure to share your own experiences with committing random acts of kindness on our Facebook page, to be a part of our final series post tomorrow, December 21.

This week’s post comes to us from Varya of Little Artists (now Creative World of Varya),  who shares about her Random Acts of Kindness Day in China. Visit the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page for a full schedule of the posts in this series.

Random Acts of Kindness: Little Artists

Random acts of kindness – it all starts at home!

As I was thinking of writing about our Random Act of Kindness, there are so many things that flooded my thoughts. First I wanted to write about a random cloth donation drive I organized. Then I thought of making some Christmas decorations with my daughter and leaving them on the door of our Christian neighbours (like Secret Santa) but learned they had probably left for holidays.

Then I was going over some old pictures and stumbled upon one video where my daughter, at that time just over 1 year old, carries around a bag of tomatoes from our grocery shopping trip. And another picture of her dragging a big bag of her own diapers towards me so I can help her change them. As I kept looking, I realized that all these gifts of kindness start from a very early age and we actually look upon them as something cute and adorable our children do. And it is! But if you really look into it they are merely trying to help with all their sincere innocence hence performing the very acts of kindness.

So here are some Random Acts of Kindness my daughter came up with on her own, without either of us realizing, and through them she learned and continues learning so many other virtues (patience, helpfulness, staying calm, excellence and many more!):

1. When we were out, she always insisted on grabbing a big or small cart and pushing it. She also wanted to have something in her cart in order to help us shop. She still does that and she asks to carry various items.

2. That thing kids like to do with taking clothes in and out of the boxes? They are learning to organize! I remember being frustrated with my daughter constantly dragging all her clothes out of the drawers and urging her to put them back in. On her 4th birthday she suddenly started singing: “Clean up the house! Everybody clean up the house!” (from a DVD “Bear in the Big Blue House”). And as she sang, she picked up every single one of her toys, all on her own, without anyone asking, and arranged them nicely in boxes! That happened to be the day I wasn’t feeling very quite fine. Well done, Miss T!

Little Artists - Random Acts of Kindness - Alldonemonkey.com

3. We live in quite an old compound. So sometimes the water pipe here or there bursts and the water is gone for the day. So we have to go downstairs to fetch the water and bring it back. The first time my daughter learned about this consciously when she was 3 years old. She grabbed 2 buckets and said she was going to fetch the water! Isn’t it just something that would make a mom’s heart melt?

Little Artists - Random Acts of Kindness - Alldonemonkey.com

4. My husband got new gloves for washing dishes. And that’s when our daughter decided she wanted to help! So, here’s another one for you – 4 year old assisting her father in dish washing!

Little Artists - Random Acts of Kindness - Alldonemonkey.com

Look around and observe your children – their random acts are not so random. They observe and learn from us. Encouraging them through creative play, personal example and simply by teaching them and guiding in every aspect of their lives is what will guarantee them taking it out beyond your household. And before you know it, they’ll be out there helping others without giving it a second thought or expecting anything in return!

Creative World of Varya

Little ArtistsVarya is the mother of 2 beautiful girls, an ESL teacher, a Montessori teacher and a dance teacher.  She enjoys music and singing and grew up on Classical music and fairy tales. One of her strong desires is for the younger generation to keep developing their talents and abilities not only through the means of technical progress (TV, computers and so on) but through the traditional art and crafts.  Creative World of Varya is about creative development of children.  Varya trained with Baby’s First Massage and Oh Baby! Fitness.  She also draws upon the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith, including the principle that the world is but one country.  You can find Varya on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Watch for the final post in this series tomorrow, including submissions from our readers!  You can see a full schedule of the posts in this series by visiting the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page.
Dec 172012
 
 December 17, 2012  Random Acts of Kindness 6 Responses »

PhotobucketThis is the seventh installment in our new series on Random Acts of Kindness. Each week a different blogger shares about a day that they and their little ones dedicated to committing random acts of kindness.

Readers will have a chance to share their own experiences with committing random acts of kindness on our Facebook page, to be a part of our final series post on December 21.

This week’s post comes to us from Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, who shares about her Random Acts of Kindness Day in the US. Visit the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page for a full schedule of the posts in this series.

Random Acts of Kindness: Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

Note from the guest blogger: “This Random Acts of Kindness actually begins with a random act of kindness from Leanna. Yes, your very own Leanna from All Done Monkey! 🙂 When she started to promote her new series, I was so super excited that I immediately asked her if I can join. However, the series had been in the works months ago, and all of the dates had been assigned to different mom bloggers. Nevertheless, being the sweet & nice person that I have grown to know, she committed a random act of kindness by allowing me to participate! She didn’t have to move the dates to accommodate me; but she did! I was blown away, and so thankful for her allowing me to be part of this series. Thank you, Leanna!”

The challenge was to commit random acts of kindness during a day with your children. After I literally jumped “head first” into this challenge, I realized that I work full-time and blog part-time; so when was I going to have time to do this?  Since the weekdays were challenging therefore, I decided to focus on random days for our acts of kindness during the weekends.

Our Random Acts of Kindness Challenge:

Random Act #1) Collected canned foods, socks, and coats for little one’s preschool donation drive

This year little one’s preschool is participating in a food, sock and coat drive. During the weekend at home we went through his closet to pick out gently used coats to donate, then I had him go through our pantry picking out canned goods. As for the socks, I had a few that I bought over the summer on clearance and was saving them for a special occasion. I explained to him that all of these items were going to local families that were in need of food, socks, and coats.

 

Random Act #2) Collected gently used toys to donate to the children’s hospital

I would normally do this when little one is away, but this time we sat down and discussed how happy another child will be with a toy that he can give away. I explained to him that the toys that he picked out were going to the children’s hospital. He was quite cooperative, and picked out toys he wanted to give out. We dropped them off at the hospital.

Random Act #3) Bought flowers for “Titi” (Auntie) just because

During Thanksgiving we met up with my sister and her family. She lives far away, and this was a special occasion. It was a great opportunity for my son to give flowers to his Titi (Auntie Gladys) to express love and gratitude. Showing him that a simple gift of flowers can make her day even more special.

Random Act #4) Left a thank you note and chocolate bar for our mail carrier in our mail box

Our mail carrier is a wonderful lady and very helpful when it comes to delivering our mail. We left a chocolate bar with a note: “Thank you, Ms. K for all you do!” and a little ribbon on it in our mail box. I had little one place it in our mail box himself and I explained to him that it was a gift for our “mail lady.” The chocolate bar will surely put a smile on her face!

Random Act #5) Put together personal care packages for the homeless

We put together care packages with personal care items for the homeless. We called a shelter in our local town, and sadly enough they will not accept personal care items. I’m confident that we will find a place to donate them.

 

Random Act #6) Dropped off our shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child

We packed shoe boxes as a family for Operation Christmas Child. Little one actively participated in packing 2 shoe boxes himself by picking out the gifts and items that were going in the box. The other 13 shoe boxes I had been packing throughout the year. We dropped the shoe boxes at the drop-off location, and the nice ladies there reinforced to little one this act of kindness of packing shoe boxes for children less fortunate.

As a reinforcement to our random acts of kindness I read Franklin’s Christmas Book which has helped little one to better understand the act of selfless giving, and kindness. In the story, Franklin needs to pick out one of his best toys for the toy drive at school, but he struggles with what to give away. In the end, he gives up his most precious toy.

It’s a true blessing to be able to teach our child the gift of giving, compassion and love by committing an act of kindness. Raising a benevolent and kind child begins at home with us setting an example. He’s only 4 years old, and thoroughly understood everything we were doing to bring a little bit of happiness to others with our act of kindness.

I hope you have enjoyed this installment of All Done Monkey’s Random Act of Kindness Series!

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

Discovering The World Through My Son's EyesFrances is a part-time blogger, mommy and wife of a beautiful multicultural familia.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a certification in Human Resources.  She blogs about discovering the world through her son’s eyes through everyday events, crafts, books, and travel as she teaches her son how culturally diverse our world is.

Watch for a post this Thursday from Little Artists! You can see a full schedule of the posts in this series by visiting the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page.

Dec 102012
 

PhotobucketThis is the sixth installment in our new series on Random Acts of Kindness. Each week a different blogger shares about a day that they and their little ones dedicated to committing random acts of kindness.

Readers will have a chance to share their own experiences with committing random acts of kindness on our Facebook page, to be a part of our final series post on December 21.

This week’s post comes to us from Vibrant Wanderings, who shares about her Random Acts of Kindness Day in the US. Visit the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page for a full schedule of the posts in this series.

Random Acts of Kindness: Vibrant Wanderings

When Leanna approached me about her Random Acts of Kindness series, I was initially a bit hesitant to commit. Our family had recently been through some massive changes and life was feeling a little out of control. My husband and I, together with our two year old, had moved back from overseas with just enough time to unpack and take a breath before our second child came along and, well, suffice it to say that I was overwhelmed. Still, I loved Leanna’s idea, so I told her I’d love to take part and would do my best to contribute a post.

As one of the last writers in this series, I had plenty of time to think over what we would do with a day dedicated to random acts of kindness, and yet I was still stuck. I really wanted to come up with something that would be concrete for my two and a half year old, who doesn’t fully understand money, especially on the emotional level that acts of kindness like paying for a stranger’s coffee involve.

While I was mulling all of this over, my daughter, Annabelle, hit what I can only describe as an emotional rough patch. Despite having always been pretty gregarious, she was suddenly very hesitant about interactions with people she didn’t know well. All of the sudden, anytime strangers would smile at her or say hello, she would frown, turn away dramatically, and sometimes even shout, “NO! DON’T smile!” As someone who values both kindness and genuine interactions, I was stuck. I didn’t want to tell my child that she had to smile at others, or lecture her about kindness in a way that made her feel as though it was her responsibility to behave in a certain way to make others happy. I did a whole lot of modeling, and we had many, many conversations about what she could do – besides yelling – if she didn’t want to interact with someone. Despite all of this, I saw no change and began feeling a bit discouraged. I certainly didn’t want to convince her to act a certain way out of obligation, but I did want her to have interactions with others that were both genuine and peaceful.

In light of this, what I decided to do for our day of kindness was nothing profound, and I’m sure it wasn’t even noticed by other people, but I hope that it was the first brick in the foundation for a life of genuine kindness. On a regular weekday, I planned a special outing for us that would involve a whole lot of interaction with others, starting with a walk through our town to the metro station and a train ride into the city. After that, we were to visit a little place called the Playseum – a children’s used bookstore that is modeled after a city with a number of different rooms designed for imaginary play. Our last stop before heading home would be a little grocery store, where we would pick up some non perishables to donate for a Thanksgiving meal a local church was organizing for the community.

Setting out. This is what I get when I request smiles for the camera lately 😉

Annabelle and I had already talked extensively about how others might feel when she yelled at them,and I didn’t want to start our day with yet another conversation that could be received as shaming or guilt inducing. Instead, that morning after breakfast I sat down with Annabelle and had a chat with her about kindness and what that looks like. I asked her to help me think of some things she thought might help others feel happy or brighten their day, and I wrote her ideas down. She mentioned smiling, hugs, and kisses first and we took it from there. I told her that today, we were going to go on a special “kindness mission” and try to do as many of these things as we could while we were out. I explained about the food drive and the plan to stop and stock up for that, too. As a physical reminder of our mission, we cut hearts out of red felt to wear on our clothing and we set out for the day.

While we were out, nothing extraordinary happened, but I did notice a slight shift. There was absolutely no yelling at all, which had been a normal part of outings for awhile. Annabelle picked up some trash she saw on the sidewalk as we headed to the train. When we were putting away some toys we had used at the Playseum, she decided it would be kind to put away some blocks another child had left out, and so she did. This was very much like a normal day for her, but I could see her being mindful of others and their feelings and we had some great conversations as we walked from place to place about how we felt, too.

In my mind, I expected this to be a normal day for me, too, as I like to think of myself as a kind person, but I was surprised to note a definite difference in my behavior toward others that came from actively thinking about how I might brighten their day with my interactions. Again, it was nothing profound, but noticing others in a more deliberate way allowed me to enjoy their presence and brightened my day.

Back at home, we talked a bit more about Thanksgiving and the food drive as we put together the things we planned to donate. Conveniently, we’d been given a paper bag to fill with food and place on our front porch for pickup. Annabelle seemed very moved by the idea that not everyone had a warm home to enjoy a holiday meal in. We ended up going through the pantry, where she found even more unopened packages to include. Together we put the bag out on the porch and moved into our evening routine. It was really a wonderful day and a small, but apparently successful way to start thinking more about the needs and feelings of the people we meet. I’m so grateful for the inspiration from Leanna to dedicate a day to the cause of kindness!

Vibrant Wanderings

Melissa is a writer, mother, and lifelong learner who lives and dreams just outside Washington, DC with her husband and two children. She is passionate about many things, but chief among them are gentle, respectful parenting and the Montessori method of education. She writes about both topics at Vibrant Wanderings and is also a contributor to the Natural Parents Network. In real life she’s working to advance peace through education by bringing Montessori to the children in her neighborhood.  You can find her on Facebook.

Watch for a post next week from Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes! You can see a full schedule of the posts in this series by visiting the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page.

Dec 082012
 

PhotobucketWe are so excited about this series on Random Acts of Kindness. Each week a different blogger has been sharing about a day that they and their little ones dedicated to committing random acts of kindness.

Readers will have a chance to share their own experiences with committing random acts of kindness on our Facebook page, to be a part of our final series post on December 21.

Now that we are just over halfway through the series, I wanted to recap the posts so far and preview what is to come!

What We’ve Seen So Far

On November 5 I shared about the day Monkey and I had delivering treats and cookies to people important in his life, like the library staff and doctors.

On November 12 Jody @ Mud Hut Mama told us about their day in Malawi, learning how to be kind to family, others, the earth and wildlife.

On November 19 Tallulah @ Bilingual Babes wrote about their day in the UK, showing kindness to family as well as fellow shoppers and skaters.

On November 26 Rachael @ Little Red Farm posted about their day in France, helping not only those nearby but also disadvantaged children around the world.

On December 3 Becky @ Kid World Citizen showcased their day in the US, spreading holiday cheer with caroling and homemade cookies.

What We Can Look Forward To

Watch for more posts from the amazing bloggers below.  I’ve had a sneak preview, and you won’t want to miss any of them!

December 10 – Melissa @ Vibrant Wanderings

December 17 – Frances @ Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

December 20 -Varya @ Little Artists

December 21 – Wrap up and reader submissions from our Facebook page!

Dec 032012
 

PhotobucketThis is the fifth installment in our new series on Random Acts of Kindness. Each week a different blogger will share about a day that they and their little ones dedicated to committing random acts of kindness.

Readers will have a chance to share their own experiences with committing random acts of kindness on our Facebook page, to be a part of our final series post on December 20.

This week’s post comes to us from Kid World Citizen, who shares about her Random Acts of Kindness Day in the US with her children. Visit the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page for a full schedule of the posts in this series.

Random Acts of Kindness: Kid World Citizen

I woke up on Saturday early, and glanced at our busy schedule for the day: soccer games, a birthday party, and I needed to run some errands. While we ate breakfast, I explained that amidst our activities, we were going to learn about “random acts of kindness.” I tried to describe random acts of kindness by giving examples: “it’s like giving someone a compliment, or sharing something with them without expecting them to give anything back to you. It’s when you want to help someone, or cheer them up. How can we be extra kind today- and maybe do some little surprises for our friends that would make them happy?

The kids came up with a lot of great ideas, with some prompting and help with the brainstorming. Here were their ideas:

  • being polite and saying please and thank youRandom Acts of Kindness - Kid World Citizen on Alldonemonkey.com
  • helping someone carry something heavy
  • saying that someone looks pretty or giving them a compliment
  • smiling at people and saying hello
  • being a good sport in soccer and helping the other team (or our own teammates) if they fall down
  • picking up litter that isn’t ours

 

As we went through the day, I tried to model random acts of kindness. At the store, I let 2 elderly women go ahead of me because they hadn’t grabbed a number. We helped another woman find something she was looking for, and held the door open for a mom and her stroller.

At the soccer games, the kids made sure to congratulate the other team on a good game, and pick up trash around the field. To my surprise, my sweet little one brought me a cough drop and rubbed my back, since I had lost my voice.

We wanted to do one really nice act for our friends, and so we decided to make cookies and go caroling at their house. Some of the cookies get a little crisp, but we salvaged enough for some of our friends and headed up to surprise them. The kids were really nervous to ring the first doorbell, but once their friends came to the door, they started singing and laughing. Smiles all around! Kindness Through Songs - Random Acts of Kindness - Kid World Citizen on Alldonemonkey.com

I asked the kids: “did we cheer them up?” “YES!!!!” “Did we make them happy?” “YES!!!!” We talked about how it makes the other person feel good, and doing kind things also makes us feel good! We drove to different neighborhoods, hitting many friends’ houses. Some weren’t home— but they might get a visit another night. As we got home a little voice piped up and asked if we could go back out and do this again tomorrow:).Christmas Caroling - Random Acts of Kindness - Kid World Citizen on Alldonemonkey.com

Kid World Citizen

Kid World CitizenBecky is the mom of 4 bilingual, multicultural, active kids ages 4-7; she and her husband are doing their best to raise them as compassionate world citizens, and lifelong learners. She founded Kid World Citizen, where parents and teachers can find global activities to do at home that help enrich little minds. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. In her free time loves to cook and travel and is a wannabe triathlete.

Watch for a post next week from Vibrant Wanderings! You can see a full schedule of the posts in this series by visiting the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page.

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