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Consistent Acts of Kindness

Updated: May 6

You've heard of random acts of kindness.  Everybody has. I think that may be where the problem lies.  Being kind and treating others with kindness is treated as something special or rare.  Randomness implies "without meaning or intention".  Kindness should have purpose.  Because kindness is a rarity, when one of us is the recipient of such kindness, we are surprised. I get it-our lives are so busy, we hardly realize that we are often led by our ego. "I" need to get dinner. "I" want to watch TV. "I" don't want to get caught at the red light. Being caught up in our lives, we sometimes unintentionally leave others out in the cold.  However, this behavior quickly devolves into us just not caring, to us being mean.  In a world where riots, wars, and fighting should be traded for some dialogue, kindness can go a long way. Simple things that just acknowledge another person shares your space; a genuine "hello" make the world a little brighter. The first place we can start? With our children. So, with that said, I am creating a challenge because people LOVE challenges. While a challenge may seem like a weird way to go about spreading kindness, it takes most people 6-8 weeks to form a new habit.  The CAK (Consistent Acts of Kindness) challenge is meant to help people, especially children, develop into considerate, empathetic, and compassionate people, habitually and organically.  In order to do this, the focus should extend beyond just performing good acts.  Part of "The Big Picture"  is to work on mindfulness, emotional intelligence, patience, and persistence.  Parents: there will be a lot of explaining, lot of talking, and some behavioral changes on your part; however, there are some activities to help children (and you) achieve meeting your CAK challenge that work within the big picture. The challenge itself is to consistently be kind, by doing one nice thing everyday, for six weeks.  The following activities can help you organize and give you and your children ideas for their CAKs! Activities

  1. Make a Wheel of Choice-like the spinning wheel on Wheel of Fortune.  You and your kids create different CAKs to choose from, let them spin the wheel, and do them! Get creative and have fun with the wheel.

  2. Role play with costumes, puppets and dolls when your child/ren are fighting to determine the problem and the solutions. This is also a wonderful redirection tool for younger children.  You could also role play if your older child is clearly upset, but is embarrassed by the reason.

  3. Have your older child write a story dealing with kindness. This can be very cathartic and a way for them to feel "heard" and not judged.

  4. Watch the news. Yes, I believe, on occasion, this can be a great learning opportunity. Talk with them about what they saw, heard, and how it affects them. What would they do if they could? Make a plan, and if possible, follow through.

  5. Read and journal from the protagonist's and antagonist's perspective. Help younger ones with this. This activity teaches children to be objective and relate to both sides, further helping them determine an appropriate CAK.

  6. Practice yoga together. Through breathing, meditation, exercise, and play, children will learn that compassion starts with themselves, as well as learn that the CAK challenge is part of Karma yoga.  Have each child roll their sibling's/friend's mat. Find a Kidding Around Yoga teacher to help you, cough cough!

  7. Make a visual chart of the family's CAKs and tally them. Hang it up high. This should not be too competitive; however, let each tally be colorful or otherwise fun so that the child is excited about their work and kindness, for the sake of it.

  8. Lastly, congratulate your child on their efforts and intentions, not the product. You and your family come up with the actual CAKs. Nothing is too big or too small. Show genuine appreciation for their CAKS.  Watch that kindness spread and you and your family transform, if even just a little. My family and I will do the Wheel of Choice and I'll update with our finished product and their CAKs! If you participate, hashtag at #CAK and #JaxBabyCo or tag us! We'd love to hear from you. And we would LOVE to see any and all results.

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