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

Mukilteo’s Hani Hani scores with the police chief

The Japanese restaurant serves dishes (poke, ramen, grill) inspired by the Hawaiian islands.

‘Coco’ is another eye-popping home run for Pixar/Disney

The animated movie’s a lively, touching tale of honoring family, following dreams.

Beer of the Week: Scuttlebutt’s Barrel-aged Belgian Winter

Made in 2013, the dark strong ale was stowed away in barrels. The brewery tests one each year.

‘Love, Chaos and Dinner’ an Teatro ZinZanni’s original show

The “Parsian cabaret” is a superb circus dinner theater operation in Marymoor Park through April 29.

Heavy Hollywood headlines: Robert Horton’s movies preview

In the midst of all the sexual-misconduct allegations, the holiday film season offers some relief.

Denzel Washington’s remarkable performance isn’t helped by plot

The actor is convincing as an awkward, eccentric lawyer, but unconvincing contrivances pile up.

‘The Breadwinner’ animation is strong, but its story is stilted

The Cartoon Saloon film never lets you forget that you’re here to learn an important lesson.

Pianist Kaitlyn Gia Lee, 10, of Mill Creek, will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major on Nov. 26 with the Everett Philharmonic Orchestra.
Young pianist to perform Mozart with Everett Philharmonic

Kaitlyn Gia Lee, 10, of Mill Creek, will play the piano at the Music for the Imagination concert.

Liz Oyama as Belle, Jimmi Cook as Gaston and John Han as Lefou star in the Edmonds Driftwood Players production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” opening Nov. 24. Magic Photo
In Driftwood’s ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ Belle has girl-power bend

Edmonds Driftwood Players presents Disney’s adaptation of the fair tale Nov. 24 through Dec. 17.

Most Read