Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sheltering Through Kindness (Fill A Bucket)

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile. ~Mother Teresa

November 9-13 is World Kindness Week. One of character traits I was most passionate about teaching my girls was kindness. When I see young children acting in an unkind manner it makes me sad, because I know unkind children grow up to be unkind adults.

With school beginning soon, this would be a good time to discuss bullying with your children. According to a study by the National Center for Educational Statistics (2015), one out of every four students (22%) report being bullied during the school year.


The best way to teach kindness is to model it. With small children it's also good to find ways to reward their kind behaviour. I recently came across this delightful book by Carold McCloud. Fill a Bucket: A daily dose to happiness for a young child. The bucket filling is a metaphor for kind behavior--both given and received. Be prepared to hear "The Bucket Song" over and over! 

Why not purchase one for a friend's child? Many times purchasing extras like books are last in line for parents raising a family. When I give a child a gift it frequently involves a book.

Fill a Bucket is for ages 4-8, although I feel a younger child would enjoy it, too. The author has written another title, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? for older children. These books are $9.99, (paperback $8.99) which seemed a bit high to me. But I can rationalize my way all around book purchases. So think of it as a learning tool, or that it's fostering a love of books. I'm gifting mine to my grandchildren, and that's the best rationalization there is!

Gift the book with a small bucket 

Print and cut out the hearts and stars from the printable below. On a tag write these instructions: When you are kind to someone, write their name on a star--because you're a star. When someone is kind to you, write their name on a heart-- kindness makes your heart smile. I added a name/Scripture verse tag, too.

A book all parents and teachers should read is Frank Peretti's "The Wounded Spirit." It will help you to be more aware of the symptoms of the bullying and unkind actions of school age children. I heard Peretti speak on this topic and what he endured at school was only tolerable because of loving parents and the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father. Not all children have this strong support system.  

Willy Davis said, "If you step on people in this life, you're going to come back as a cockroach." While that's not how we would train our children to be kind, we need to to not only teach them, Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32), but how that looks in 2015. Let's train the next generation to be kind. Being proactive now will prevent wounded spirits later.  

Is Your Child a Bully?
Good Girls Bully, too 
Children's Journal Sheet for Bullying

Download here: Kindness Bucket Stars and Hearts


Avis said...

This is wonderful ! :)

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Such a lovely and thoughtful post.

Thanks also for you gracious comments. I really appreciate the visit. I will do a post tomorrow with all the how to on the pictures. Hugs, Marty

Kim M. said...

Unfortunately bullying goes on everywhere (even church). Good idea!

Esther Asbury said...

I agree - kindness is so important! What a sweet idea for fostering it in a child!

elizabeth @ twelvecrafts said...

What a great reminder! We do a version of bucket fillers at our house. So good for our kids!

I would love for you to link up a post about your own holiday traditions . . . you have three weeks to write and link up here. I'm sure you have some treasured ones!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

This is cool! Thanks so much for your comment on my post! :) Jocelyn

Marie said...

This is a great way to teach kindness and to help them remember when others are kind to them

Anonymous said...

Our elementary school does this. When a child is noticed being kind or doing something special for another child, the teachers will submit the child's name into the bucket. Whoever has the most names at the end of the semester is rewarded.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful idea! I should do something like this for my girls even though they are homeschooled.

Jelli said...

I love that you made printables to go with it!

Unknown said...

Sounds like two great books to teach children about bullying. Such a big problem.

Roxanne Foster said...

The best way to teach kindness is to model it! YES!

Unknown said...

Kindness like most character traits is more caught than taught. Great reminder and challenge for our family! Thanks!

Marissa Writes said...

Love love love! Yes, our example of kindness will be a huge impact on our kids.

Thanks for sharing!


Reading List

Unknown said...

This is a beautiful idea! I agree with your statement that "The best way to teach kindness is to model it". God bless you and this vision!

Coach Donna Ward said...

I did not know that November 9-13 is World Kindness Week - I will keep that in mind
And thank you for the bucket of stars and hearts

Beautiful post reminding us of the importance of loving one another

Melanie B. said...

The kindness bucket is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.