I'm a mommy of four energetic boys ages 6,7,10, and 12. I love being a mom and embrace it fully. However, some days are just hard and exhausting, especially when the boys are bickering with one another.
One morning, I was totally frustrated with the squabbling in our home. I don't remember the specifics of that day, but I know we were rushing around trying to get ready for school, and the boys were not getting along. In a home with several siblings, the possibilities are endless. It could've been over the last piece of bacon, a glaring look, unkind words, first dibs on the bathroom, or determining who would get the last pair of Nike socks, etc. What I do remember is being frustrated---with how challenging it is to create a squabble free environment.
On that particular morning as I washed the dishes at the kitchen sink, I asked God for wisdom. That is when He gave me the idea for "The Kindness Jar". Wow, it was a simple idea and I already had the supplies: a mason jar and marbles. I told the boys we would be looking for random acts of kindness throughout the week. When we saw them being kind to one another we would place a marble in the jar. There were 2 stipulations. 1) They could not ask for a marble. 2) They did not get a marble for every act of kindness. Once their marbles filled the jar, they would all be rewarded.
Here are a few ideas for rewards:
--A trip out for ice cream
--A trip out to Starbucks
--A round of miniature golf
--A visit to an indoor trampoline facility
--A family outing to Dave and Busters
While my boys, like most siblings, still argue over trivial matters, "The Kindness Jar" helped my hubby and I take note and praise the boys more often for their positive behaviors. It also helped the boys be mindful to encourage each other and act in kindness. The next time I have a "frustrated mommy moment" I hope I remember to ask God for wisdom and help.
Hopefully, this will be a great parenting tool for your family.
This is one of my favorite verses on kindness to pray over the boys and myself:
"..clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Col 3:12