I’m sure having a good heart and doing things with a good heart is more difficult now that it was in the 80s, but nevertheless doing good is one of many things that I aim to role model and instil in the boys. It’s a fine line when many of us have learnt the hard way that we need to look out for ourselves, plan for ourselves and not let other people get the better of us.
A couple of months ago, older boy was really upset with younger boy cause he had tried to hug and kiss him before they went into school and younger boy had responded by headbutting him in the mouth. I should point out that older boy was being uncharacteristically nice which made me a bit suspicious, but at the same time it made me feel a bit sad that his brother had been horrible to him. I used this opportunity to have a conversation about how as a family we should be kinder to each other and how kindness doesn’t need to cost anything and obviously should be extended to strangers. Afterall, as Band Aid sung, “there’s a world outside your window”.
The buzzword of the moment is raok or random acts of kindness. Whilst I personally think that managing to achieve a raok for each day of the advent period is a tad ambitious (I am still going to try), I do believe that this craze has come at the right time. At the risk of sounding like an old fart, kids do have more and expect more these days and as parents we are programmed to give more and to expect to give more. There is no end of pressure at Christmas to keep up with elves, Christmas Eve boxes, lavish presents, numerous pre-festive and festive outings… the list goes on. I for one find it refreshing to focus on what you can give in a wider sense at this time of year and don’t tell anyone that I said this but aiming for a simple Christmas involves considerably less work.
The reverse advent calendar was a perfect example of easy giving and following on from this, I for one am inspired to do more. Obviously its all about balance as my boys are fairly typical in the sense that they keep asking for things when we are out and about. I can hardly blame them when I have a fair idea where their respective shopaholic genes come from, but I am keen to temper it and to encourage them to look at the bigger picture.