When I was interning at an elementary school as a school social worker during grad school there was a program that aimed to turn the hall monster system on its head.
It was called Kindness Catchers and it asked kids and teachers to “catch” each other in the act of kindness and write them up a “ticket” that would go up on the display board and some would be read out during the morning announcements.
It was a cool system and really did seem to work. Kids went out of their way to do nice things in hopes that others would notice and write them up. It created a really nice environment for everyone.
I recently went to a family reunion with about 30 kids that were varying degrees of kind to each other. I decided to celebrate and focus on the ways they were kind to each other and this was a really rewarding experience.
Instead of focusing on the fights between my niece and nephew, I praised them for helping each other after I sorted out their fight. I noticed that they continued to do nice things for each other, waiting for praise from me, which I gave. Eventually I noticed they continued to be nice without waiting for the praise.
I think they figured out that it just feels good to do good things and took it upon themselves to do those nice things for each other in order to feel nice. It was really cool to witness!
It’s interesting how we can easily shift to meet the expectations and approval of others. Great that you learned and are now being a catalyst for change in your family, Aschel! Well done!
Your words convey such a great demonstration of change, with a little encouragement. Good on you for having the patience and love to support the children and may they remember your input and create a new behaviour pattern.
Bravo on your decision! I am sure it was cool to witness the results. Thank you.
Yes, Aschel. Kindness is catchy! 🙂
That is so cool Aschel – like a social science experiment, with really great outcomes. I love it.