Teaching My Daughter About Kindness

28 comments

I didn’t really have big plans for mother’s day yesterday. I was happy just hanging around doing the same old thing. I went for a run in the morning and decided to head to the Odiyana Center for a Sunday meditation class. Turns out the meditation was specific for mother’s day and focused on remembering the kindness of our mother. Even more than that though, the emphasis was about how important kindness is in general. We would not be where we are today without the kindness of others. The meditation was just beautiful and a wonderful reminder about how I want to live my life.

I was inspired after leaving class to do something during mother’s day to thank OTHER mothers. I decided to embark on some random acts of kindness and to take the opportunity to teach my daughter about the importance of doing nice things for other people. She’s almost 2 now so I feel like she can really understand that doing thoughtful things for other people makes them happy. So, we went to Stop & Shop as a family, picked out a few bouquets of flowers and headed out to surprise some mamas we know and a whole lot of mamas we’ve never met before.

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My daughter and hubby

After getting our flowers we were ready to get started wishing mamas a happy mother’s day and we ran into a friend of mine I haven’t seen in a year, right in the parking lot! So of course, Lillian gave out her first flower.

Giving Kathy a flower in the Stop & Shop parking lot. (Credit: Michelle Noehren)
Giving Kathy a flower in the Stop & Shop parking lot.

Then we decided to surprise my soul-mate of a friend Christa with a flower (and some chocolates too!). She wasn’t home so we left them on her front step. Love you Christa!

A little something to say I love you.
A little something to say I love you.

Then we stopped at my husbands grandma’s house (my daughters great grandma) and naturally had to give her a flower too!

A flower for great grandma!
A flower for great grandma!

Then it was time to do some random acts of kindness for strangers. We headed to a local playground and had a blast spreading mother’s day cheer! (We knew NONE of the mother’s below – my husband thought I was a little nuts but went along with it)

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These women were SO happy to get flowers. They said it was the highlight of their day!
These women were SO happy to get flowers. They said it was the highlight of their day!

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We had SO much fun walking around looking for mamas to surprise with a little gift. Every time I asked Lillian to say happy mother’s day to a mom she said “Happy Birthday!” because she doesn’t get the difference yet but honestly it made it even cuter. Each mom just lit up with happiness (and I think you can even see that in the photos) and I have to believe that we helped make their mother’s day a little more special.

Seeing my daughter happily giving pretty flowers to others instead of trying to keep them for herself was just incredibly heart warming. My husband just watched us and didn’t participate so when we left I asked him what he thought. He told me that he’s too shy to just randomly walk up to people but that he could tell the moms were loving it. They say that random acts of kindness spread and while I don’t know if receiving a flower led to any other acts of kindness, I do know that whether he admits it or not, it did impact my husband.

When we got home from our adventure, my husband went out and mowed the lawn of my neighbor. My neighbor’s house caught on fire this past November and she hasn’t been able to live there so her yard was really overgrown. He took it upon himself to do a little act of kindness for her (another mother!) and I couldn’t help but have a huge smile on my face watching him cut that grass.

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I loved this little experiment in kindness so much that I think we’ll make it a yearly mother’s day tradition.

 

28 comments on “Teaching My Daughter About Kindness”

  1. Michelle that’s a great story! I found it when searching for “kindness” on the internet. I have five kids and we once decorated a tree at a church by our house with cardboard hearts and stars with kind sayings on them. It was a blast! You might enjoy (sorry for the self promotion) the monsters our family makes that all come with acts of kindness for kids. We think they’re pretty cute! http://www.PromiseMonsters.com. Keep up the kindness!

    1. Hi Michael! So glad you found my piece and also so glad you enjoyed it! Will check out the website you provided 🙂

  2. You KNOW I love this post and this idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve become addicted to handing out flowers to strangers! I just bought a bouquet of flowers for each cashier at my local grocery store recently ~ there is nothing more magical than watching someone’s face light up from an unexpected gift!! And I soooo love how Dan mowed the neighbor’s lawn after ~ oh yes, this touched him too. Just beautiful, Dear Sister!

    1. Kate I JUST replied to Randi above that I had a moment where I was watching her hand out the flowers and thought (with a big smile on my face) that I’m raising a mini Kate Street!

  3. Omg I’m gonna cry! Lilly is so cute handing out the flowers. This is such a thougthful thing to think of doing-totally YOU!

  4. Looooved this!!! I am going to 100% copy you and try to make mother’s day a celebration for OTHER mothers next year. I also read an article about how tough it is on single moms. I’m thinking big community service project here..love it!

  5. Michelle — this was a killer. I have melted into a puddle of tears. What an amazing experience for EVERYONE involved, and then to have your shy hubby pay it forward — omg. Too sweet for words (even though I just spewed many of them). May I borrow this idea to do with my grandson? May be another thing you have to patent, you creative genius, you!

    1. Oh Randi what an incredibly sweet comment! Of course, the idea is for anyone to use! I did have a moment watching Lillian where I thought “wow, I’m raising a little Kate Street!” Kate walks around her town giving out free hugs 🙂

  6. Your little girlie is SO BEAUTIFUL!

    What a nice day it was yesterday for you and all of those moms who received a little unexpected little treat. I especially love the pic of her great grandma. That smile about says it all (and you’d NEVER guess she’s a great grandma because she seriously looks so YOUNG!).

  7. I only wish I had read this yesterday so I could have done the same! What an amazing thing to do for others.

    1. Well, the wonderful thing about random acts of kindness is that they can be done anytime! There are always lots of moms at the playground and surprises are always fun 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed my post!

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