Encouraging Positive Behavior
One of the things that I try to teach my son is how our actions affect other people. When we’re nice to someone it can make their whole day and then they’re nicer to others too. The same happens when we’re mean to someone. I tell him just a big, bright smile can put someone in a good mood. This can often work as a ripple effect and affect the people that person meets and all they people they meet until your happiness is spread through many, many people.
One book that talks about happiness is “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud. This award winning book tells kids that everyone has an invisible bucket that is meant to be filled with happiness. When that bucket is filled the person feels wonderful. When the bucket is empty the person feels sad. The book then goes on to show what a person can do to fill not only their own bucket but also the buckets of those around them.
This book can be used for very young children but I also just read it to my eleven year old son who was inspired. We decided we were going to keep our own buckets. I bought some small tin buckets and some vase gems and put them on our counter. Every time we do something nice for someone else or if someone does something nice for us we put a gem in our bucket. If we do something mean or rude we have to take a gem out. This way we can see how our actions affect others as well as ourselves.