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Teaching My Kids About Random Acts of Kindness

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Last Updated on May 31, 2024 by Leslie Stroud

Do you love February? I sure do. First of all because it is my birthday month!

Are you someone who loves or hates your birthday? I’ve always loved my birthday. When I started to meet other adults who disliked their birthday, I was quite confused. Who could hate such a fun day? It takes some maturing to realize not everyone has pleasant memories about the same things as you do.

February is also the month of LOVE, which is such a good pick-me-up after the letdown of Christmas being over. I always embrace Valentine’s whole-heartedly to get over a little of my heartsickness at missing Christmas for another ten months.

Grace as a baby, dressed up in a Valentine's Day tutu, shirt, and headband

And today February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day! Another new reason to LOVE February.

A note that says "You are Loved!" in both English and Mandarin

Do you like to perform random acts of kindness? It is one of our favorite things as a family. Some of our past favorites:

  • Treating Your Nurses: Giving away lunch and donuts to the nurses at the hospital when we have a baby. Since all five of my loves were born by c-section, we get to know nurses quite well after 4-5 days with them. We love to treat them.
  • Doorbell ditching gift cards: When we were young and much more tight on money, we loved to splurge on a $25 gift card to a restaurant and leave it as a surprise for a couple we knew needed some time out together. We are BIG fans of dating (see our latest video on Valentine’s Day!) and we love to support others in their dating. Even if they use it for takeout when the kids are in bed, at least it is a break from cooking.
  • Paying it forward in the Drive-Thru. Chick-fil-a happens to be one of our favorite dinner spots when the night is getting away from us or we need a break. (Sadly, it isn’t as gluten-free friendly as I’d like, so it isn’t as good for us anymore. There really is no good gluten-free drive-thru.) We LOVE to get to the cashier with a number in mind. We will say, “We want to pay other people’s tabs up to $50”. We then keep running our card for all the cars behind us until we hit out limit. I know the cars are getting annoyed at how long we are taking until they find out dinner is free!
  • Brighten-Your-Day Gifts: I love to brighten the day of someone I know and love, or even someone I don’t. I usually pick up a bouquet or two of flowers when I grocery shop and just make myself give them away. One time, in Colorado during our time there, we bought 4 dozen roses and took them to a nursing home and gave them away. We had to make sure they were roses because some of the patients had dementia and might eat them 🙂 . It was such a fun experience.

One of the challenges of full-time travel is I have a hard time finding little things like those mentioned above to do. We don’t get to know anyone REALLY well on our trip due to time constraints. We also don’t get to know any area well enough to find cute places, like a nursing home, to volunteer. I find my kids and myself need service in our lives to keep perspective. It’s WAY too easy to be caught up in the excitement of our life and forget what a blessing it is to be doing what we are doing.

One of the best ways to pick YOURSELF up when things are hard or discouraging is to serve. Brighten someone else’s day.

Instead of us giving service, I’ve noticed some wonderful kindnesses that have been shown to us around the world so far. In honor of the fun day, here’s just a few:

  • Patience with our kids: Our poor driver in Bali dealing with my carsick kiddos: When we went to the villages in Bali for our service project, the road was SO windy. I prepared with motion sickness pills, but it wasn’t enough. Grant threw up ALL over his car. I was mortified. He was so kind, took it in stride and had it all cleaned up when we got back. Fun tip? Coffee grounds! He just put them into the nook and crannies of his car where the vomit went. I’m sure it soaked up some of the liquid for vacuuming later and it smelled so much better.
  • Helping us when we are lost: Many times we’ve been those lost, sad tourists staring at the signs in the subway. We can’t quite figure out where to go or get oriented. Some cities are nicer than others, but we’ve had plenty of people stop to ask if they can help. It’s not too big of a deal for them, but can change our whole day! I’ve spent hours sometimes just trying to find the train station, let along figuring out which train is correct.
  • Locals being wiling to be our “contact”: It makes a world of difference to know just ONE person in a new place. Especially when you are staying for a month. You usually need something boring, like a dentist, hair appointment, random item to buy that you can’t find, etc. It is so nice to meet just one person that lives there that you can text in a bind. I’ve done this many time. “Where to a find a hair brush?”, “What is the name of a mall?” A local can make all the difference in your stay. A new friend is even better.
  • Kids Being a Friend: My kids get lonely (we all get lonely). Having a friend, even for a week or two, can brighten up a whole trip. When you are leaving your “life” behind for a vacation, you may want to hunker down and focus on the family unit. I totally get that! However, this is our life. We love making friends. It is hard to know we will leave them, but it just makes the time together more sweet.

How can you spread more love today and this month? How have you or your family been touched by an act or kindness?

Be sure to check out our new video with some fun acts we did around Hong Kong!

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