Helping foster kindness in our children and ourselves

How to get along with your fellow human beings is one of the hardest things to teach. Kindness, which sounds so simple, is often in short supply; on the internet, in the parking lot, and on family road-trips in the car.

I’ve learned as a parent that it’s really hard to teach kids how to handle somebody “pushing your buttons”. To be fair to kids, it’s really hard for some adults to handle “button pushing” too.

Sometimes I wish everyone could read a copy of Dale Carnegie’s classic book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” because the whole book is about treating people kindly, even when it’s really hard. Carnegie suggests beginning a conversation in a friendly way, trying to see things from another person’s point of view, showing genuine appreciation, and readily admitting when you are wrong.

These are all people skills that I want my children to master. I could always use some improvement too! So this week, my family is focusing on fostering “Kindness”.

We have two mason jars on our kitchen table, and popcorn at the ready. When I notice my kids being kind, I add some popcorn kernels to their jars. When the jars are filled up, we will pop the corn and watch a movie together.

This popcorn trick is an old-standby a lot of teachers use in the classroom to encourage good behavior. But I’m hoping it will work here at home too. I’ve bought a whole bunch of popcorn, just in case!

More in Life

Beer and cupcakes: Snohomish brewer, baker form unlikely duo

Pacific Northwest Cupcakes uses SnoTown’s brews to make beer-infused sweet treats.

Woodward Canyon Winery continues to weave masterpieces

Owner Rick Small uses grapes from vines he used when he made wine in his back yard in the 1970s.

Snohomish brewer flavors beer with chilies from mom’s back yard

Beer of the Week: Smoked rye forms sturdy foundation for SnoTown’s well-balanced Loose Rooster.

Beer, wine, spirits: Snohomish County booze calendar

Dash to Diamond Knot: Flying Unicorn Racing is teaming up with Mukilteo’s… Continue reading

Marysville theater stages Noel Coward’s timeless ‘Blithe Spirit’

The cast and crew at the Red Curtain Arts Center do a fine job with the 1940s British play.

Stringed instruments get workout at Cascade Symphony concert

Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” is the orchestra’s first concert of the season.

Animating Van Gogh paintings proves to be trippy yet flawed

“Loving Vincent” relates the circumstances of the great painter’s death.

Leno, Short and others reminisce about David Letterman

By Geoff Edgers / The Washington Post A few observations about David… Continue reading

Most Read