Friday, January 13, 2012

Teaching Kindness...It's Like Magic

I was at my favorite store this week, Target, and low and behold found another treasure in the $ Spot!  As a part of Conscious Discipline, we encourage children to look for ways to be helpful/kind.  I found this little Valentine Tree with heart shaped ornaments and knew right away that it was the perfect "Kindness Tree"!
Whenever someone in our house does something helpful/kind we notice it and then put a heart on the tree.  We would say somthing like this:  "You hung your coat on the hook so you could find it when we are ready to leave.  That was helpful!"  Then you put the heart on the tree.
The morning after we began using this Kindness Tree, my 10 year old son came to me and said, "What do we get when the tree is full?"  You see, in the past we have used systems where our children worked to fill a jar with marbles and then we rewarded them with  toys or a special family activity.  When he came to me with his question, my initial response in my head was "oh no, what do I say?"  Then I took a deep breath and responded like this.  "When we fill up our Kindness Tree you get to enjoy the feeling of living in a connected family where everyone cares deeply about each other and lives in harmony...just like a really pretty song."  He thought for a moment then said, "Well, I think we will have it full by tonight!"  He proceeded to go over and begin making his SISTER'S (and his) sandwiches for lunch that day.  He has never done that before and he did it with such a spirit of love and deep caring for his sister.  He even asked her what she wanted on her sandwich!   It's working already!
For more information about Conscious Discipline go to http://www.consciousdiscipline.com/