Even if you don't have time for a regular volunteer project, your children learn immeasurably by watching the small differences you make. Below are "kindness practices" you can start right now.
1. Hold a door. When you're out shopping with your kids, hold the door for the person
behind you, help an elderly person lift something heavy, pick up something that's fallen (even if you didn't drop it), smile at others and thank someone for a simple kindness.
2. Share what's growing. Have a garden? Share a bouquet of zinnias, a basket of tomatoes or a bunch of basil with friends or neighbors.
3. Assist with lawns or pets. Do you have neighbors who are elderly or whose spouse who is ill or serving in the military? Lend a hand by watering, sweeping, pulling weeds or walking their dog.
4. Tidy the 'hood. Make a habit of caring for your surroundings. Carry a small trash bag on your neighborhood walks, and move leaves and debris away from storm sewers to keep water runoff moving during rainstorms. When hiking, leave wilderness spots cleaner than how you found them.
5. Have a fun kindness conversation. What's the fun part? Download and print out our very own kindness conversations fortune teller and play with it together with your kids. Or tryour printable placemat to start some BIG discussions at dinner.
6. Bake and share. Whenever your family bakes a batch of cookies, muffins or bars, wrap a few to share with neighbors or friends.