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Caring & Kindness: Everyday Lessons

Habits of kindness make it so much easier to teach caring in between volunteer gigs.  And lets face it, even with the best of intentions that gap can sometimes get out of control. Establishing these habits of kindness is what Doing Good Together, and our soon-to-be launched website Big-Hearted Families are all about.

Maria Dismondy author of Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun and the Juice Box Bully hosts a character trait blog every month: Make a Difference Monthly. Bloggers from around the country link up their own ways to teach that character trait, creating a compendium of expertise on each topic.

This is my contribution, to that worthy effort. Pop over to Maria's site for the linked contributions. They are impressive in their quality, in their kindheartedness, and in their ability to inspire.

In the meantime, here are the three habits my family has adopted that make conversations about caring and kindness happen every day.

Who have you helped today? Who has helped you? Make time every day for this simple set of questions. Ask at family dinner or after bedtime stories. Be sure to offer your own answers. Even the youngest family members will learn to watch for the simple acts if kindness that make each day better, as both givers and receivers of help. In our family, we all watch for opportunities to help so we have an answer next time the question comes up!

Rubbish Race: I posted this year's ago, and it has since become a feature of every walk. I carry a plastic bag and a lonely garden glove everywhere I go, and the kids don't tolerate any bit of trash lingering in their path. We are stewards, caring for whatever patch of earth we happen to be occupying.

Happy Mail: Like Maria in her own "Caring" post, kind-hearted mail is one of our favorite ways to share kindness. Our letters make their way to nearby neighbors, far off family, and strangers in need of a pick me up thanks to Hugs and Hope.

Books: Like most families, we make time to read every day. Our latest favorite caring book is Miss Tizzy. Check it out!