I have been thinking a lot lately not just about how to be happier and life a more joy filled life, but how to pass that on to my son. I was proud this year when on his first day of school I asked him “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and he answered “How could I possibly know Mum, there are too many choices.”
As much as I loved this response it got me thinking about why we ask this question and put so much pressure on it with young kids.
Why don’t we ask “How do you want to feel when you grow up?”
So now poor Aston has been dragged into my happiness kick and I am including him in all of my crazy “How do I live a better life” kind of activities!
Honestly only a few days after I decided I need to include him more in all this stuff I went to an information at his school about how they are implementing a new program based on Positive Psychology and gratitude, happiness, kindness and all those positive emotions not only make kids feel better but it helps them achieve better academically. The program is about creating a language around these kind of emotions and has a range of activities that they do with the kids – right from Prep up to Grade 12 – to help them build on their own character strengths.
I was so excited on the way home I could have cried!
During the talk Dr Joann Lukins from Peak Performance Psychology gave a talk and mentioned a few great resources. This lead me to spend the next day scorwing the shelves of a local bookshop.
And that is when I found what is now my favourite kids book of all time.
Big call I know!
This beautiful book is a simple way to explain to your kids how treating people with love and kindness is not just about them, it also makes you feel full and happy.
It is such a simple concept about how everyone in lives carries around with them an invisible bucket, being kind in your words and actions helps to fill up other peoples’ buckets, as well as your own. Being cruel and nasty has you dipping into other’s buckets and it also keeps your own bucket empty.
After reading it Aston and I had a long (too long for bedtime really) chat about what actions he could do the next day to be a Bucket Filler and not a Bucket Dipper. It was instantly clear that that concept made perfect sense to him and he was keen to do what he could to fill up some buckets.
If you have kids, or know kids, I would STRONGLY recommend checking this book out. You can grab it on Amazon – and even take a look inside, If you are in Townsville I got my copy from the fabulous Mark Who Bookshop in Flinders Street.