For our latest mindfulness project, one of our parents read Have You Filled a Bucket Today? with our kids. It's a book that provokes thoughtful self reflection about whether we are filling someone's bucket (their stores of happiness) by being kind or whether we are emptying their buckets by being unkind. The kids really loved the concept, and a sweet round of "I love you" and hugging ensued.
At City Kids, our mindfulness project is a way for us to encourage the kids to think about how they interact in the world with people, animals, the environment, and how they treat themselves. Our kids are empathetic, caring, and sensitive to each other. But all children, just like adults, have moments when they get angry, rush to judgement, and do not use kind words. We all need a reminder that we are all capable of spreading happiness through simple acts like a smile, a kind word, or a hug; and we do not need a special reason to fill someone else's bucket--being kind is its own reward.
Perhaps if we talk to children when they are very young about how to spread happiness, we could help them grow up wanting to fill buckets and not empty them. Have you filled someone's bucket today?