“Oh, goodness,” I thought in response to Little Brother’s question. I really hope Google was going to work when we got to the fishing hole. Reality of co-Parenting with Google.
“Mom, do you know how to catch a catfish?” Little Brother requested details in preparation of our fishing trip, which was happening right now.
As I squinted my left eye looking at Little Brother, while my brain gathered up all the insights about catching a catfish, not many, mind you. There was a knock on my window.
“Sheila,” the boys’ dad called my name, “Do we have a homeless care kit in the car?”
“Yeah, it is in the truck in the orange Kindness Kit,” I answered a bit bewildered. He was supposed to be buying bait.
Everyone turned to watch Dad walk to the back of the car and pop open the truck. And, that’s when we noticed the two people standing next to him. A dad and a boy, not much younger than Little Brother.
We couldn’t really hear what was going on as he moved stuff around in the truck. A few seconds later, there was a second knock on my window.
“Hey,” this time he whispered. “Ask the boys if it is okay if I give their soccer ball to the little boy. He and his sister are living in a car with their parents.”
I turned to Big Brother as Little Brother piped up with an enthusiastic,”YES!”
“You okay letting go of your soccer ball?” I asked Big Brother.
He hesitated. You could see him thinking it through. “Yeah, that’s okay.”
As we watched the soccer ball, accompanied by the dad and boy, being carried across the parking lot, Little Brother turned to Big Brother, “Are you okay?”
Big Brother hesitated again. “Well, that is my only soccer ball. But, I could tell that he doesn’t have much, and we really have all we need.”
Little Brother grinned at his big brother and said, “You are a really cool guy. Good job.”
We live in an amazing time of ups and downs occurring simultaneously. Across all media, there are examples of extremes from social ills and crime to acts of kindness and stories of compassion. What do we believe is the reality? How bad is it and how much more good is needed?
Now, more than ever, families are reaching out for ideas and tools to help them in parenting their kids to be kind. Community volunteers want their groups to be active in meaningful service projects. And, school personnel are working hard to find ways to teach their students character traits, ending the bullying that is pervasive in society.
The world is clamoring for examples of how to teach kids to serve others and be actively involved in reaching out with kindness. That is why Pennies of Time has been featured in several articles and interviews, sharing what can be done. That’s why we need you to join us in raising kind kids.
Want to Join the Movement of Raising Kind Kids?
- Teach your kids to 1) recognize when they see someone in need and 2) know what to do with that recognition.
- Be deliberate in seeking out ways to be kind with your kids, not as the tag alongs that happen to be in the car with you.
- Next time you are planning a family activity, choose to do an act of kindness.
That’s not all.
Since becoming a nonprofit, we’ve been working to pilot programs and services to help families have the tools needed to teach their kids to be kind and help others. Key on our minds is that, through the implementation of these programs, we utilize data to show us what is effective in helping our families teach their kids to be kind and serve others.
In the past 6 months, we have piloted:
- Family Kindness Adventure Program
- One-on-one Mentoring with Parents
- Consulting engagements helping nonprofits become more kid- and family-friendly and allowing kids to volunteer (That is so needed!)
- Large and small group presentations and targeted trainings
- Virtual events like the current Virtual Holiday Kindness Camp (going on right now on Facebook)
We now have data (along with great stories) that we were able to capture on what happens to families while participating in our programs.
We know that families that complete programs provided by Pennies of Time:
- Say that they fight less after completing the program compared to how much they fought before working with us.
- Report that their levels of happiness are higher at the end of the program than they scored at the beginning.
- Express greater confidence in knowing how to teach their kids to be kind. They have a greater knowledge base and the tools needed to make acts of kindness fun and meaningful.
- Establish longer-term ties to local community service opportunities, seen through building lasting ties to nonprofits in their area.
Pennies of Time is now moving forward in providing programming to support families in raising kind kids.
Join the Movement to Raise Kind Kids
- Let us know that you would like to participate in our kindness programs
- Share your talents and skills as a volunteer for Pennies of Time
- This week, complete an act of kindness with your kids. Need a suggestion? Here are 5 Easy Ways!
- Enroll in the Kindness Academy and get the support, ideas, and customization you want to help you raise kind kids!
In the News
President Bush’s Points of Light Foundation and Disney honored the Sjolseth Family and Pennies of Time with a Daily Point of Light Award in honor of National Family Volunteer Day, one of only 10 families selected globally to be highlighted in 2015.
John Linney interviewed Sheila on Edspiration “Getting Kids to Care | Teach empathy & kindness with service”