February 17 is Random Act of Kindness Day, when we’re inspired to make an extra effort to make small, thoughtful gestures to make someone else’s day that little bit better.
Of course it would be nice if we thought to do this all year round, but unfortunately that can be harder than it seems when you’re busy and dealing with everyday stresses.
However, one place you can make an effort to be kind every day is at home. Showing your partner and children how much you care is a brilliant way to build lasting and meaningful family relationships, and it sets a good example to the kids, too.
Here are the little acts of kindness you can do to make a big difference:
We love our families, but in day-to-day life it can be hard to remember to show it. A hug before setting off to work, a cuddle on the sofa when you’re watching a film, and snuggling on the bed with your kids for even just 10 minutes of bedtime stories can all go a long way to expressing how important your family are to you. And never be afraid to say “I love you”. In our opinion, you can never say it enough.
Rather than go for the same-old soggy sandwich, take a couple more minutes to stop and think about those little extras that your other half or your kids really love: their favourite filling, a homemade cake from a weekend baking session, or even a handwritten note to hide under their fruit as a little surprise.
Keeping things fresh always makes a difference so why not try some of our Brilliant packed lunch ideas.
Show your family that you know what’s important to them whenever the opportunity arises.
If you’ve got a teenage boy who really loves music, put a reminder in your phone for when his favourite band’s concert tickets go on sale, or send a text to your other half if you spot his football team has just signed a new star striker.
These little efforts show that you’re always thinking of them.
Giving little gifts doesn’t have to cost money. Try surprising your partner with a shoulder massage at the end of a stressful day, making your teenager’s study session more pleasant with a small plate of homemade biscuits, or leaving little love notes on the steam in the bathroom mirror.
And, don’t worry, by setting the example you’re sure to get some kindness in return – breakfast in bed, anyone?
Day to day, we all get buried under chores and work, but make sure you take some time each day to pause, switch off the TV and put down your smartphones to enjoy each other’s company.
For example, most people can afford to squeeze in some fun family time for half an hour before doing the washing up. Or you can even make doing the washing up into the fun itself – yes, really! See our article on Getting the kids to love washing up.
For those days when you have a bit more time to play with, read our articles on how to make the most of those precious opportunities with your family:
By being kind yourself, you’re already setting a great example for your child. But you need to make sure it’s not all coming from you.
Encourage young children to start thinking about kindness by supporting them with ideas. For example, when they’ve finished a book, ask them who out of their friends they think would enjoy it, and suggest they gift it to them. Or if a friend or relative is sick, help them to make a Get Well Soon card to send to them.
This will encourage them to think of ways to be kind for themselves and instil a sense of goodwill.
What do you do to bring kindness into the home? Let us know in the comments section below.