They That Sow Kindness Gather Love
With the amount of time spent staying “Safe at Home” we understand how it can be challenging for families and especially children to always get along when stuck in the same space for a long period of time. Parents understand this first hand when children argue and bicker over games, their personal belongings, food, or because big sister wants to be left alone for peace and quiet but baby brother wants to play. Sibling rivalry anyone? Sibling rivalry is very real, even for us. When 12 children live together from various backgrounds, ages, and personalities, and become a family of their own, it’s to be expected, but not accepted.
Words and actions have the power to both heal and hurt, to build up or tear down, encourage or discourage. Knowing this, Opie, one of our youth counselors, created a sweet and effective way to show some of our girls the importance of kindness.
After several days of the girls not getting along Opie created a “Words of Affirmation” activity for everyone to do together. Sitting in a circle, first, each girl had to write 3 things about their neighbor as an icebreaker. This was to show the girls the importance of speaking kindly about others.
Second, the girls had to write 3 kind things about themselves. This exercise was more challenging for the girls and made us mindful of how important it is for the kids to hear encouraging and positive things about themselves.
Third, we made a connection between our actions and seeds, connecting how we grow as a person and sow ourselves to the seeds of kindness or the seeds of malice (self-doubt about one’s self, not feeling good enough, not feeling pretty enough, etc.) that are given to us by people ,and that we either grow weeds or flowers.
Together the girls planted Marigolds outside their house as a physical daily reminder that when you put good into something you get good out of it.
We can continue to put good into each other so that we blossom into something beautiful and watch in turn the people we love blossom around us as well.