Day 20 – Heat Inspired Kindness

Ever since we switched to a new school last fall, my biggest concern has been the kids’ social well-being. We definitely got off to a slow start, figuring out which kids made good friend material. Eventually, they all found their way, making a few key pals throughout those first months. However, in the last few weeks, Sport’s teacher has indicated that she would like to see him broaden his friendship horizons and work on his social skills. This constructive criticism was met with much resistance from my competitive kiddo who likes to believe everything is fine just the way it is. An incentive plan was definitely needed and it had to be good (A friend once told me a bribe involves trickery, an incentive does not. Genius!). Sport and I decided the goal was to increase his ‘likeability’ at school by doing kind things for others which in turn would help other kids see his big heart. Each afternoon, he would report back two acts of kindness from his day. If successful, at the end of three weeks he would earn the Miami Heat basketball jersey he had been drooling over for months (not to mention the oodles of new friends of course). Over the last couple of weeks, the favorite part of my day has been listening to Sport recount his stories of sharing snacks and helping fallen companions. I have even giggled at his tales of lending a pencil to the cute girl two rows over and offering up his broccoli to any takers at the lunch table. Each day, Sport was excited to tell his stories and I noticed that the sparkle in his eye and glow in his smile were brighter than they had been in weeks. The incentive of a coveted basketball jersey had made the call to action easy, but the resulting joy had made it truly beautiful.

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