With the passing of Valentine’s Day, I always like to turn my attention to Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Day, which is today, February 17.
This year, I feel RAK Day is somehow more meaningful then previous years. This year, I’ve read numerous posts from numerous people saying they’re tired of the commercialism that is Valentine’s Day. Their tired of their children expecting heart shaped cookies, mini-cupcakes, and chocolates from their classmates. Some said they were happy to send (or receive) non-food items such as stickers, tattoos, or pencils, but others were fed up by the 3425 pencils that have been acquired over the years. Others wanted nothing to do with Valentine’s Day and were happy when their child didn’t show an interest either.
Our family tries to find a happy medium. We spend time together crafting, making handmade cards for each friend at school. I feel like the time and energy we spend together as a family will create lasting memories for us. And, each classmate receives something my kids have handmade with love; I think that’s pretty special.
Like others, I feel the commercialism that is Valentine’s Day and I believe one way, we as parents, can change this is through random acts of kindness. We are our children’s role models; what we do, they will emulate. And, children tend to love helping other, so random acts of kindness seems like an appropriate place to start.
So, where do we start? It doesn’t have to be a big, bold or elaborate act. Our children will grow and be proud of the small acts they do. Sometimes, we may need to help them accomplish the task, but this doesn’t make it any less meaningful. In fact, I believe, doing acts of kindness as a family will help to develop a stronger relationship with our children. And, if you don’t believe me, check out all research the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has complied on the subject matter.
Here’s a list of ideas to use when doing random acts of kindness for others. Hopefully, you find something amongst the list that will speak to your family. Have a different idea? Please share it in the comments below. And, if you’re sharing your ideas on social media, thinking about use the hashtags #RAK, #RAKDAY, or #RAKWEEK2017 (which just happens to be this whole week from February 12-18)
In Our Family
- Draw a special picture for a family member. Tuck it onto their pillow, so they get a surprise when they go to bed that night. *This is something my daughter is infamous for, so I must give her credit*
- While you’re tucking away their surprise, make their bed for them. *We’re working on this next step. LOL!*
- Empty the dishwasher. *We recently moved our kids’ dishware to a low drawer, so not only can they put away their own dishes, they can take them out at mealtime too.*
- Wash the table before mealtime. Kids will especially love this if you put water in a spray bottle, so they can wet the table down themselves.
- Phone someone you haven’t talked to in a long time and sing them a song, such as You Are My Sunshine, Skinamarinky Dinky Dink, or our family favourite, A Bushel and a Peck.
- Clean your room… Clean your siblings room… Clean the toy room… Just clean! LOL!
- Read a story to your siblings. Let them pick their favourite story. If you can’t read yet, look at the pictures together or tell them the story in your own words.
- Wash your face, brush your teeth, and put on your pajamas without being asked to do so.
- Before bed, say a prayer or make a wish on a star for someone you love.
- Give your family members a hug and tell them why you love them.
In Our Neighbourhood
- Be a Snow Angel by shovelling the snow around your neighbourhood, especially around the city drains
where all your spring run-off needs to flow down. *We did this yesterday. The kids were thrills to help our neighbours avoid icy mornings due to an accumulation of water on the street.*
- When the garbage/recycling collectors have been through the neighbourhood, return your neighbours’ empty carts back to their driveway.
- Place a post-it note on a neighbour’s door complimenting them on their flowers, decorations, or something else you appreciate about them.
- Welcome a new family that has just moved into the community with a treat and your contact information, so you can have a playdate or support them as they settle into their new community. *We were so grateful to our neighbours for welcoming us. It made a world of difference knowing someone in the city*
- As the snow melts, clean the garbage from around your community green spaces, which will be visibly dirty after the winter. *I remember my mom doing this all the time around our acreage. She would carry a plastic bag in her pocket, so she’d always have a place to put the garbage.*
- Bring any extra school supplies you have to school to share with those that don’t have any/need some, or pass them on to your teacher for when a student does need them. *Donate all the Valentine’s, Halloween, and Christmas pencils you have, heaven knows they could use the 3425 you have.*
- Hold the door for community members while your out shopping.
- Smile at them and say, “Good day!” You never know the impact your smile may have on another person.
- Return the abandoned shopping carts back to their stall. *This is really more like three acts of kindness. 1. The store clerks won’t have to do it. 2. The shoppers don’t have to look for one. 3. It clears a parking spot for someone. LOL!
In Our City
- Ransack your panty for non-perishable good for the Calgary Food Bank.
- Donate any extra diapers you’re little one has outgrown to Made by Momma. Check out the other donation items they need too.
- Visit with a senior through the Friendly Visiting program set up by Calgary Seniors’ Resource Centre.
- Give away your little one’s outgrown clothes to the Women In Need Society. *We have four years of girls clothes, and three years of boys clothes that have found a new home.*
- Share a compliment with Calgary Police Services. *Over the summer, I was stuck on Crowchild during rush hour. A lovely constable parked behind us and protected us until we were able to make it home safe. I couldn’t thank him enough.*
- Welcome a new immigrant family to Calgary through many of Calgary’s settlement agencies.
- Downsizing your personal library by donating your un-read books to Calgary Public Library.
- Write a thank you letter to your mail person, garbage collectors, or transit workers. Or, thank them when you see them in the community. *We were at Costco and a C-train employee was behind us in line. We had just got through that terrible snow fall a few weeks ago. Thanking this gentleman for keeping everyone safe certainly appears to brighten his day.*
- Get your cuddle on by volunteering to care for animals at Oops-a-Dazy Animal Rescue.