Most experts would agree that it takes twenty-one to twenty-eight days to create a successful habit. I would agree with that, and have used that statistic many times in my life. I’ve been successful with some habits and have had failures with others. The most surprising success I had, came several years ago when I decided to create a habit of being kind every day for 21 days.
I still had to discipline my children when needed, and the rest of my mothering duties didn’t change, but my attitude changed. I decided that even in the craziness of raising kids, I could choose to be kind. I could be kind in the tone of my voice, in my body language, my choice of words, and in my actions.
To my shock and surprise, it worked!
After three weeks, I had changed. Instead of constantly reacting and acting out of fear, confusion, frustration, and/or anger at my children and husband, I had learned how to take a breath, regroup, get my thoughts in order, and using kind body language and tone of voice, handle the situation.
Of course there were times I failed. I still fail, but these past few years have proven to me that we can develop new attitudes and characteristics just by making them a habit. My children learned this years ago. I was the slow poke.
Here are 14 Ways We Have Had Success In Our Family Showing Kindness
- When upset, we take a breath and choose to think about reacting with kindness
- In our home, we try to use a tone of voice that we would use with a friend or even a stranger, not an angry or mean tone.
- When we see someone in the home that could use help, we offer it.
- We say please and thank you to each other.
- We listen patiently to someone speaking to us, instead of quickly butting in.
- We smile a lot.
- We apologize if we have been wrong.
- We forgive someone who hurt us.
- We show affection.
- We affirm each other with positive, helpful, and encouraging words.
- We encourage each other.
- When we find items of clothing or toys or books that we haven’t used in a long time, we give them to someone who could use them.
- We try not to complain, argue, or whine.
- We pray and ask God how we can show kindness today.