Since Mother’s Day is quickly approaching I want to talk about a Mom Life topic. A Fun Way to Teach Your Child Kindness. Usually I do a Mother’s day Gift Guide featuring stylish finds for mom, but honestly there is nothing more stylish then having a child who doesn’t act like a self-entitled brat. A kind and happy kid is your best accessory.
A Fun Way to Teach Your Child Kindness: The “Bucket Fillosophy”
I was so taken with this metaphor to teach compassion to toddlers that I had to share. The reason I think it’s wonderful is because it resonated strongly with my 4 year old Camden; not just after reading it, but weeks later.
It’s from a book called Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud.
She asks children to imagine that everyone in the entire world carries around an invisible bucket and the sole purpose of the bucket is to hold good thoughts and feelings about yourself. You feel happy when your bucket is full and sad when it’s empty. You fill the bucket when you do something kind or help someone. That’s a “bucket filler.” You can also dip into the bucket when you call someone a name, make fun or don’t do what you’re asked by a parent or teacher. That’s a “bucket dipper.”
This book is powerful because it turns acts of kindness into imaginary things kids can accumulate for an end-goal (filling that beautiful, one-of-a-kind, invisible bucket). And every toddler loves filling buckets. Camden fills his with dirt and matchbox cars.
Weeks after reading this Camden would say things like, “Let’s take the neighbor’s recycling can to her garage from the curb because that’s being a bucket filler.” Or he would clean up his toys and say, “Hey mom, aren’t you proud of me? I’m being a bucket filler.” I also use this reference to discipline. “Throwing a tantrum is being a bucket dipper,” I’d say. “Talking back is a serious bucket dipper.” Does it always work? Um…no, but sometimes it does and sometimes is a WIN.
I found another use for my Count Me Healthy gratitude journal bracelet. I count my son’s daily moments of kindness (aka “bucket filling moments”). I let him know how many beads I have moved over and if a certain amount are moved over by the end of the day I let him watch his iPad for a bit.
Wishing all of you amazing moms a happy, healthy mother’s day. Your job is 24/7 and I hope your special day is filled with relaxation and pampering. If you are looking for last minute gifts please check out my Mother’s Day jewelry picks. Or for a fantastic cookbook focused on healthy eating for picky toddlers check out my friend, My Nguyen’s (Instagram powerhouse My Healthy Dish) best-selling cookbook My Healthy Dish. I consistently use it for Cam and my other three boys. I have a post of some of my favorite recipes here that I used during my pregnancy with Brody (image of book and bump below). x CC