When you think “summer” you likely think of long lazy days… maybe it puts you in mind of holiday beaches, or fun family camping, or perhaps it simply signals it’s time to shed your winter layers and savor the warm weather. But when you’re a parent, summer can also bring challenges, including a chorus of “I’m bored”s from young people used to the structure of the classroom.
With 5 kids of my own, I’m very familiar with the challenges of keeping curious young minds occupied during the summer months. And I know that kids need guidance, especially when it comes to teaching them how their actions can make a concrete, positive difference in the lives of those around them. That’s why I created my Summer Sparks program, with activity ideas and summer printables, and it’s why I asked several fantastic bloggers to share their unique perspectives on the importance of families doing good.
“These random acts of kindness are an excellent cure for the “mom I’m booooooored” conversation, or to get kids from in front of their various screens!” Dani from OKDani knows the struggle! Her post shares some of the terrific things she and her family have already done to spark goodness.
Amy of TeachMama knows well the importance of teaching kids to be kind. It’s a lesson that she re-enforces daily, and it’s why she’s so excited about Summer Sparks! And if you’re looking for ways to get your kids excited about the chance to share their sparks, she’s shared some excellent ways to help them get started with a bang.
“The world is what we make of it. We have to be active participants.” I simply love this perspective from Deborah Cruz! Her blog post on MotherhoodTheTruth explains exactly why she’s so adamant about teaching her girls about the lasting effects of spreading kindness in both large and small ways.
It’s not just Moms who are encouraging their families to get into the SparkGoodness game — Adam from Dadapalooza explains why it’s important for everyone to bring light into the world: “A small dam can change the course of a river, a well-placed word can be the deciding factor in a business deal, and yes, a butterfly flapping its wings can change the weather pattern.”
Meghan of Jamonkey.com has some great ideas of her own on how to encourage thoughtfulness in young people, and explains how you can spark goodness, even in your own home: “Squish had a really bad dream this past month that has caused her to be scared at bedtime. JaMonkey decided to let her sister have a “sleepover” in her room. Needless to say, Squish was ecstatic, and she had no trouble falling asleep that night.”
“Helping those less fortunate than us sparks so much goodness for those that need food and also instills the desire for the kids to continue doing more.” Parent and blogger Krystyn from “Really, Are You Serious” shares what her family is doing this summer to inspire her daughters’ inner heroes. She’s got some terrific ideas!
Whit from Dads4Change is another terrific parent who is helping his kids recognize the importance of spreading kindness — even on hot, lazy days when they’d rather be raiding the fridge! “It’s summer, the perfect time to harness the light around us and apply it generously, with love and kindness. There is a part to play for each of us in making our world a better place, and it only takes a spark.”
“The light that lives within children should be fed at a rate that makes it grow to the point that it becomes contagious in a way.” I really couldn’t have said it any better than Natasha of HouseOfNicholes. Her terrific take on sparking goodness within her community is inspiring!
Whitney of 510Families says she tries to use summer to give her kids life skills — a little bathroom scrubbing never hurt anyone! — and this year, she’s adding “kindness” to the list of skills her family is practicing. I love it!
The rewards of parenting often come in the small moments, says Amanda of Dudemom: “[T]here’s doubt and you always wonder if you’ve done the right things[…] And then, out of nowhere, they do something that makes your heart swell with pride…” Read how her kids are sparking goodness daily through their thoughtful actions.
Summer is a great time to harness the enthusiasm of youth and encourage your kids to make a difference… and have fun doing it. I encourage everyone — even those who aren’t parents! — to take advantage of the season and make the world a better place. Download my Summer Sparks Activity Page and Tracker Worksheet, and don’t forget to submit your acts of kindness into my SparkGoodness contest [note: as of October 2018 this contest has ended] for a chance to win one of my great monthly prizes.
Let’s all work to make this summer the best yet!