It seems like every parent wants their kid to play a varsity sport. Parents put such a large focus on their children’s athletic talents and gifts—you are a great swimmer, you are good dribbler, and so on. Children start activities and sports way younger now than in previous generations and we applaud our children for their focus, specialization, and commitment from an early age, convinced these pieces are the foundations for their later success. Unfortunately, many of us relegate one of the most important characteristics, kindness, to the B-Team.
Here are four ways to influence your children to be the “Varsity Captain of Kindness.”
1. Establish a Better Morning Routine.
Set yourself and your family up for success in the morning. The beginning of the day sets the tone for every family member. Mornings can often be rushed, and important details may fall through the cracks. This stress can lead to family fights, which doesn’t do anyone any favors. Instead, gather as a family in the evening and work together to prep for the next day. Not only will it be a good bonding time, but it will save everyone from a stressful morning and give everyone the space to be kinder to each other.
2. Set Daily Kindness Goals.
It’s great to set family goals. Kindness can be a family and individual goal just like playing on a sports team. You can’t make varsity unless you practice every day and it’s great to remind your children of any age to be kind during their day.
Teach children at an early age to be kind or a “good sport” to the other teammates. This will help them develop into being a good sport for the rest of their life. You can also play “Spot the Giving Moment” where you recognize the opportunity to give to other children and adults. The giving moment, when practiced over and over, becomes second nature. These moments can become magical and more easily seen if the focus is put on children to look for them daily.
3. Surround Yourself With People That Want the Same Goal.
The exciting piece of being part of a team is that all the teammates are want to win the games. Every part of the individual’s practice, whether it is stretching, doing the drill over and over or staying for private coaching etc…will greatly impact the wins or losses for the season.
The beautiful part of life is that we are not alone. We can make conscious choices daily to have people in our lives with similar approaches to and goals of kindness. You can listen and look at how they interact and see if they are a person you want on your team or are, they going to not be committed and talk badly about their teammates? Look at the people currently on your team of life and see if they are going after the same goal of kindness.
4. End Your Day on a Kindness Note.
A kindness reminder at the end of the day will help to instill this virtue in your children. Consider buying—or better yet, making—cute posters or signs with reminders to be kind. Originally creating and then focusing on this visual before drifting off to dreamland will inspire your team players to strive to be the Captain of the Varsity Kindness team.
Let’s make kindness the varsity sport in our homes. Make a daily, conscious decision to devote practice hours to be more loving and kind players in the game of life. Not only can we earn our letterman jackets, but we can also all strive to be the captain!