Growing Kindness in Your Kids at Christmas

Tue, Dec 14, 2010

Influence, Perspective

Growing Kindness in Your Kids at Christmas

I’m a big fan of the Golden Rule and treating others with kindness. As a matter of fact, I’m working on a project called Kindness365.com that will launch early next year with the purpose of inspiring intentional acts of kindness each day. So, naturally when Tim Elmore offered to write a guest post on kindness and cultivating it in our kids (and ourselves) this Christmas, I eagerly accepted! Tim’s guest post is below:

Kindness. Most of us would never use the word if it weren’t for church on Sunday, where we have to talk about it because it’s in the Bible. We just don’t hear the word in everyday conversation. That’s sad. It’s not only a rare commodity; it may be an endangered species.

So how do we cultivate kindness in our homes at Christmas?

Try this.

Plan a trip to the shopping mall this week, but not to shop. Walk together as a family and do this little exercise. As you walk by the frantic shoppers, look into their eyes and smile. As you do, ask God to reveal to you what they might need; where they might be hurting. You’ll be amazed at how much you can read on a face. Loneliness. Anxiety. Depression. Once you pass by, pray for what comes to mind. You might pray: “God, those older folks looked lonely. Be their companion today, Lord, and if they don’t know You personally, reveal Yourself to them.” Or, “God, those young people look angry. God, give them peace, and if they don’t know You, reveal yourself to them.”

I’ve done this exercise with guys that I mentor and it always ignites our hearts. We suddenly see people differently — not so much as shoppers who are in our way, but as souls who have hurts and battles. It almost always ignites kindness. Once you’ve meandered through the mall, have a conversation and talk about what you saw. Then, decide on one person (or group) that were especially memorable, and do something for them. It may be as little as buying them a Starbucks coffee or a Coke. But — step out and show kindness. You may be amazed at how viral it can be.

“And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” (Romans 12:8)

In what ways will you inspire kindness in your kids and in others this Christmas season?

Join us tomorrow at Jon Acuff’s blog as we discuss ways to develop peacefulness in your kids (and maybe yourself!) during the holidays.

Tim Elmore

This has been a guest post from Tim Elmore as part of his “12 Days of Christmas Parenting” series. You can follow Tim’s personal blog at blog.growingleaders.com and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TimElmore. Learn more about developing the next generation in his latest book: Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future.

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    About Daniel Decker:

    Daniel Decker is President of Higher Level Group, Inc., a strategic marketing and development firm that helps authors, professional speakers, and organizations who are doing good to expand their influence. LINKS: Follow @DanielDecker on Twitter | Visit the "About" Page | Subscribe to the Blog and get updates via RSS or Email.

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    • http://wwwlstickyJesus.com Tami Heim

      I love seizing the completely random opportunities to demonstrate acts of kindness. At the holidays – when lines are long – I always look for someone to give my place in line – right before I am ready to go to the register. (Now remember – if you try this – once you give up your place – you do need to head to the back of the line again.)

      • http://www.GrowingLeaders.com Tim Elmore

        Me, too, Tami. That is incredibly kind of you to give someone your place in line, especially when the line is long. Great tip! Thanks for sharing.

    • Senen Perfecto

      Thanks for the great post, Daniel!

      The wonderful thing here is it could be the best gift we could give our children.

      Be blessed always!

      Senen

      • http://www.GrowingLeaders.com Tim Elmore

        Appreciate your feedback, Senen! We are prime examples and role models for our children.

    • http://www.GrowingLeaders.com Tim Elmore

      Daniel,

      Thank you for taking the time to host this parenting blog tour on your blog. It is a real privilege. May we all grow to show more kindness with our children and in every day life.

      Blessings,
      Tim

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