Days 15 & 16 - Kindness Co-op

I am going to combine Days 15 & 16 because I am a day behind on blogging. I blame Squarespace website swindlers (the people who make you buy your own name on the internet) because they won’t allow me to save drafts as I am working on them. They do this because they don’t just want your money, they want you to go absolutely insane. Well played Squarespace, you obvious victor you.

There is a bit of a theme to my kindnesses for these past two days so the last laugh is on Squarespace. Days 15 & 16 were really all about kids. The smallest of these #AdamsActs was for London and Harper (my own kids.) There was a bit of an altercation in the morning and we are really big on having the kids make repairs to their relationships with people when they’ve done something wrong or hurtful. They don’t just apologize (in fact I don’t like them to insincerely apologize ever) but they do have to acknowledge a few things. They must acknowledge:

  1. This is what I did wrong.
  2. This is why it’s wrong.
  3. This is what I can do differently next time.

After acknowledging those things, they need to ask how they can make the other person feel better. After the struggle du jour, London decided that what would repair the damage to their relationship would be having Harper's help when cleaning her bedroom after school.

 She doesn't exactly love cleaning by herself.

She doesn't exactly love cleaning by herself.

We always enforce that they follow through on the reparation agreement. This sounds like a lot of work, but I promise you that when you have a child with a behavioral disorder, there is a lot of opportunity for siblings to harbor resentment. This actually preserves relationships and in the long run actually saves a lot of time because they have learned how to resolve conflict themselves. Between this strategy and my husband's invention of The Tattle Tax, our children are practically parenting themselves.

So, here we are at #AdamsActs for London and Harper. They can both easily become overwhelmed with a multi-step chore. To make it more fun for them to work together, I will sometimes make these silly lists for them to break a big chore down into manageable - and sometimes silly - steps. They LOVE when I do this and it really is a kindness to myself because they work so much better together when the mood is light and playful. And a touch of potty humor usually does the trick.

This list:

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Makes this job:

 Suddenly way more fun.

Suddenly way more fun.

My first act of kindness was to help my own kids, but my second and third #AdamsActs are about other kids. For the past two nights Tom and I spoke at two final panel discussions about foster care and adoption and I spent some time today connecting with a few different people from those meetings who wanted more information.

And finally, we signed up to sponsor a child through Compassion with our neighbors Danielle and Derek. You may find it ridiculous that we are going halfsies on a sponsorship, but look… these are some lean months for us and it would be reeeeeally easy to say no. But instead of saying “No, we cannot afford another $38 a month” we creatively decided that we probably could do $38 every other month! For some of us $38 is nothing, but for a lot of us it’s a really huge sacrifice to commit another $38 on top of regular giving. No matter what $38 means to us though, I can guarantee it means a lot more to these families who receive support through Compassion. I want to encourage you all to sponsor a child, or give to a different organization whose mission you value. And if you cannot afford to do it alone, grab a neighbor to share the burden with you. If you and your neighbor can swing it together, get the whole neighborhood involved. I don’t care if your kid’s whole soccer team splits the $38 a month… just do something! Do anything. And if we all partner together with these small kindnesses and small donations, we will collectively make a huge impact for kids like Erick.

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