Hello inspired readers!
November 13th was International Kindness Day. We went about our day as normal, and took our 3 year-old daughter to a local farmer’s market to enjoy the indoor playground. She played for a short time, then asked to leave, visibly upset. After a series of questions, we figured out a “baby” about 1.5 year old fell and started crying, and Zoephi really wanted to come close to comfort him. But “em bé hông muốn con” (baby didn’t want me). Aww...I was finally able to convince her, using concepts we had covered together through reading, that we must first respect others’ boundaries, even babies. And even if she really wants to be kind and offer comfort, it’s ok for the boy to say no. She agreed to go back to playing.
Albeit seemingly ordinary, I was very touched by her compassion. I wanted to positively reinforce this behavior, to help her continue to display kindness not just once, but as a habit.
With Christmas drawing near, I’ve been brainstorming all sorts of ideas of an advent calendar, and “25 Days of Kindness” advent calendar was born, with the major themes of: being kind to others, to the environment and to yourself.
- Put toys away
- Help with house chore
- Help shovel neighbor’s snow
- Pick up trash and dispose properly
- Go through pantry and pick out food donation items
- Go through toys and pick out donation items
- Donate clothes and accessories
- Make a Christmas card
- Read a book on kindness
- Give a hug
- Kiss a boo boo better
- Introduce yourself to a new friend in class
- Participate in a Toy Drive event
- Learn to say “hello” in another language
- Donate coins
- Sing a song for grandparent(s)
- Make gifts for classmates
- Turn lights off when not in use
- Conserve water
- Wrap presents with kids’ own art paper
- Donate books and DVDs to local library
- Say thank you
- Tell yourself “I did it”
- Practice kindness every day
A FREE downloadable pdf of the above 25 acts of kindness in Vietnamese called "25 Ngày Tử Tế" is made available for you. I hope it finds a place in your home; get creative with different arts and crafts ideas with it. Most importantly, implement some of these ideas. I'll share my personal favorite. Zoephi has been struggling at her new preschool, crying at drop off for every day for over a month. One day I decided to try prompting her to say "annyeonghaseyo" (hello in Korean) to her Korean teacher. We had taught her "annyeonghaseyo" to greet her previous day home teachers, but I had almost forgotten about it . Her teacher was just delighted to hear Zoephi say it. And Zoephi switched back to her happy self, no more crying at drop off!
If you are looking for books on Kindness (Day 10), here are titles available on VietCan Books online store:
1. Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller
2. Bilingual The Kindest Fairy Tales | Truyện Cổ Tích Tử Tế by Alicia Vu
3. Each Breath a Smile (bilingual) | Mỗi Hơi Thở Một Nụ Cười (Song ngữ) by Thích Nhật Hạnh
4. The Doll by Nhung N. Tran-Davies
5. Chúng Mình Tôn Trọng Cơ Thể Và Cảm Xúc Của Nhau by Jayneen Sanders
5. Voi Ho-Tơn Ấp Trứng by Dr. Seuss
6. Con Gà Đẻ Trứng Vàng by Thích Nhất Hạnh
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