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When you think of paying it forward, what comes to your mind first? Maybe you’re thinking of paying for a stranger’s coffee or food in line behind you, isn’t it?

What you may not think about is what kindness looks like in your own home. We all know how easy it can be to get irritated with your spouse and kids… As a family, we see each other at our best and worst.

That’s why kindness within your home is so important!

Did you know that practicing kindness at home regularly helps to heal relationships and it encourages family members to love each other in simple ways? That is so true, but too often put aside.

So, if you’re looking for some kind things you can do for a family member or if you’re teaching your kids how to be kind, encourage them to do some of the tasks listed below:

paying it forward with more thanksSay Thanks More Often

When a family member does a job well, say “Thanks for putting your toys away” or “Thank you for helping with the laundry”. By thanking each other, your family practices both giving and receiving kindness.

Compliment Each Other

School age children can take turns complimenting their siblings. Younger kids may keep their comments focused on appearance or offer general compliments like “Zoé is pretty” or “Philippe is nice”. As your kids get older, ask them to share what they love about their siblings like, “Philippe is good at math” or “Zoé draws beautiful pictures”.

celebrate any act of kindness at homeAcknowledge and Celebrate Kindness

When you see your children being kind to each other, try to acknowledge it right then. You might say things, “You’re so sweet to share your toys with your little sister” or “You were so kind to let your brother go first”.

 

 

Leave Pride Aside

You were having a bad day and you missed the mark. If you were unkind to a family member, offer a sincere apology and work harder to guard your words and actions in the future. When parents apologize to each other or to their kids, it sends the message that family members forgive and love each other.

Encourage Mutual Help

Depending on the age of your children, you can encourage them to do chores for each other. You might say, “Why don’t you pick up the toys for Philippe today?” or “Let’s tidy this room for Zoé to surprise her!”

Learn to Listen

One way your entire family can practice kindness is let family members speak without interrupting. If you have small children, this concept can be difficult to grasp. It might be helpful to pass around a microphone. The person holding the microphone is allowed to speak without being interrupted. If other family members want to talk, they have to wait until the microphone is passed.paying it forward by sending mail

Send Mail to Each Other

Kids love getting things in the mail. You can have your kids send cards or small packages with homemade art to each other. Doing this gives children a chance to practice kindness both when sending and receiving.

 

Paying it forward and being kind to each other doesn’t start with strangers.
It starts with those closest to you – your family!
What will you do this week to practice kindness in your home first and foremost?

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