Do you have days where you want to pull out your hair because your kids are not acting how you wish they would? Maybe the kids are fighting, being disrespectful, or being downright mean. Whatever the reason, it can make getting through the day hard.
Some of these behaviors are part of growing up. Kids are learning how to manage disagreements and relationships with others, or they are growing up and trying to find a balance between independence and handling a new relationship with their parents.
As parents, we hope our kids will demonstrate kindness in their lives. We hope to raise thoughtful kids that help others.
So how do we help our kids become kind, thoughtful people?
There are many ways to achieve this: being a good role model for your kids, praising kind deeds, reading books and discussing kindness, doing kindness challenges, and many more.
We just implemented something in our family to help nurture kindness in our kids.
What is it?
Good Deeds Journal
Our family started a Good Deeds Journal. My husband calls it “Do a Good Turn.” At the beginning of the journal, there is a list of good deeds. It gives my son specific actions he can take that are considered good deeds.
We initially started this journal for a Cub Scout requirement. In Cub Scouts each year they are required to work on an adventure called Duty to God. One way to meet this requirement is by teaching my den about kindness and doing good deeds.
The Good Deeds Journal is a way for kids to see what acts are considered good deeds. It provides a list of concrete examples on how to accomplish this in their lives.
Telling a kid to be kind isn’t helpful. They don’t know what
How to Set Up a Good Deeds Journal
- Brainstorm kind behaviors you want to see your child demonstrate.
- Think of actions your child can take to demonstrate these behaviors.
- Write down the concrete actions you want your child to do to demonstrate kindness.
- Put the list in a journal. (You can tape a printout on the inside cover or write it in the beginning of the journal.)
My son has clear actions to take like hold the door for mom, sister, and other girls. He also has other examples like apologize if you hurt someone and saying nice things to people instead of negative comments. He knows these are “good deeds” to work on throughout the day.
How to Use the Journal
After you have the journal, it is time to implement it. We give our son reminders throughout the day. My husband reminds him to open the car door for me. I may remind him not to use negative comments but to say something nice instead.
Each evening my son gets out his journal and looks at the list. He writes down what good deeds he accomplished that day. We discuss his behavior for the day, what he did well and how he can improve.
Here is a picture of my son’s journal.
How Does This Help?
The journal is a clear way that kids can see what good deeds they are doing. It is an easy way for them to see if they are making improvements in their behavior and where.
For a while, they may only have one good deed a day that is always the same one. That is okay. The list gives them ideas on what are good deeds so they have a better chance of finding some success at the end of the day.
Your child may find that they are doing other good deeds that aren’t on the list. That is okay, too. My son wrote down he scratched his father’s back as a good deed. It wasn’t on his list, but it was a kind thing he did. It showed he was thinking more about his actions.
Will the Journal Work?
Since starting the journal, I have found my son is opening doors for me instead of rushing past me. He not only holds doors for me but for other people, too. It is becoming a habit.
The goal of the journal is to make kindness a habit. What is it the experts say? It takes 21 days for something to become a habit. It just shows it will take time. But as time goes on, you will start to see your child making improvements in many areas on their own.
To help I’ve included a FREE Good Deeds printable for you.Good-Deeds-Journal
What things do you do in your home to encourage kindness? Comment below.