Love One Another Kindness Jar

Those of you with more than one child know that it can be difficult for everyone to get along.  I am not an athlete, and I am CERTAINLY NOT a referee!  Trying to calm (the never-ending) squabbles in my home among my 4 children is exhausting!!  That is why, I have decided to try a little kindness… specifically, a kindness jar.

The idea came to me when I was thinking about The Giving Manger (which, sadly, we didn’t not get this Christmas as I had hoped!).  The premise is that you put a piece of straw in the manger each time a person in your family does an act of service for another family member!

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Since we are in desperate need of  some love & kindness, I decided that for the month of February, we are going to reinforce kindness in our home with a Love One Another jar (a.k.a. kindness jar)!

The Love One Another Challenge

The plan is to place a jar with a “Love One Another” label on it in a prominent place in my home, likely the kitchen counter. I will have a separate place for my hearts, right now I am using heart-shaped candies (like these), so I want to keep them out of the little one’s reach.

Next, I will tell my family about our Love One Another jar & it’s purpose! I will explain to them that each time that they are “caught” being kind to each other or mom or dad, that a heart will be added to the jar.

It is so important that we teach our children the why behind what we do, and what better textbook than the Bible!  Over the course of the month, we will work on learning this scripture as a family:

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. John 15:12

I may even add a new scripture each week, but I would like to be sure that they at least learn this one really well! I especially love Ephesians 4:32 for it’s emphasis on kindness (and it is one of our printable scripture cards)!

Then, I will explain that in an effort to remind us all (even mom & dad) to be kind & loving to each other, that we will be using our “Love One Another” kindness jar for a while.  Our goal is to always speak to & treat each other with kindness! And this jar will help us to remember to &  recognize when we are being kind.

Some things that mom or dad might add a heart to the jar for?

  • sharing
  • working out a difficult problem/disagreement (one heart per child if done well)
  • playing well together for long period of time (no squabbles)
  • speaking kindly to each other
  • putting others first/thinking of others before themselves
  • coming when called by mom or dad
  • helping mom & dad around the house
  • helping a brother or sister find something, tie shoes, etc.

Hand kid supporting love symbol with heart on woodenbackground.

Encourage your children to help keep you accountable also!  But just be ready, they will!  If mom & dad start talking to each other in an argumentative way, your children (if they are anything like mine) will call you out!! =)  And likewise, if they “catch” you being kind & loving, allow them to add a heart to the jar.

At the end of our kindness jar “experiment”, our jar will hopefully be full!  I plan to take my children out for a fun surprise!  I haven’t decided yet whether I will tell them up front whether or not there will be a treat at the end, I may just reward them if they are good sports throughout!

The Goal for Our Kindness Jar

I realize that we may not always want to reward our children for every time they behave as we think they should!  However, I believe drawing their attention to the way that they act & speak to each other for a short time will reinforce a desired act (love & kindness), and hopefully develop good habits of kindness!

This experiment is just starting, but stay turned for the results!  Once I see how things are going, I will come back to give you the evaluation!  And if you decide to try our Love One Another kindness jar experienment, would you please let me know what you think about it?  I would love to get some feedback!



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