I was noticing that more and more my family members seemed to be quite self-centered and there was a lot of bickering going on. I had to figure out a way to help encourage loving-kindness in our lives. But How?
Then I thought up an idea that really seemed to make a difference! We've called it the "I See Love Jar". What we do is have a cute, decorated mason jar on the counter and beside it is a post-it notes pad and a pen. Whenever someone sees someone else in the family showing love to each other, we write it down on a post-it note, fold the sticky tab in on itself and place it in the jar. It has amazed me how quickly these little acts of kindness helped to encourage everyone to think about others and how they might show love to each other. It also made them more aware of the kindnesses that were being shown to them.
It may be something as simple as someone sharing a favorite toy or helping a younger family member with a difficult task. Really, it can be anything that is seen by someone else as a loving thing to do. We are absolutely not perfect, of course- far from it! But this little jar has helped my family focus more on others instead of ourselves. It is being used to form habits in my children's lives that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
If you decide to give this a try, please let me know how it goes! Do you already do something similar? What does that look like in your home?
Karen Gartner is a birth doula in North Carolina with over 14 years of experience helping families achieve their goals for labor, birth and beyond. She also has 20+ years of experience helping mothers with breastfeeding. As a doula and mother of 4 growing children, she has a lot of wisdom to share with new mothers and clients.