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Newsletter: May 2014

Kids who Care? We’ve got the Recipe for Mother’s Day and Beyond

Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful, hard-working and loving moms out there!

In our work, we also meet many mother-like figures who are not biological mothers to those they’re caring for—like grandparents, for instance. Or aunts. Or family friends. We refer to all these people simply as caregivers, and for many families, they are just as important as mothers.

So in recognition of all mothers/caregivers out there, we’re offering four easy “recipes” to help you connect with your family while nurturing the next generation of caring and giving adults:

  • Model Caring at the Table. Let everyone get a chance to talk, and listen so they feel their words and experience matter. This means, in practical terms, that only one person talks at a time, eye contact is made with the person who is speaking, you occasionally register that you “get” how the speaker is feeling, and that no one is competing with gadgets and screens for attention. (This tip comes from Dr. Anne Fishel’s blog “Tips for Bringing Empathy to the Table.“)
  • Have Conversations about Giving. Watch our Kids Talk about Giving Back video, which comes from our #GivingTuesday campaign efforts back in November. Then discuss the video. You can also check our Conversation of the Week blogs for relevant stories, like this one, and use our conversation starters to discuss.
  • Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Surprising someone by doing something kind is (fortunately) becoming a popular trend. As a family, why not perform some of your own small acts of kindness? You can use the kid-friendly suggestions we offer in The Family Breakfast Project, to give your kids a kindness mission for the day (then have them report back at dinner). Or, as a family, you can identify a mother-like figure or two or three…think babysitter, teachers, neighbors, etc., who you want to acknowledge on Mother’s Day. Then call, text or write them a note of appreciation!
  • Make a Plan to Combine Dinner and Service. Make a plan to use some of your family dinner time to help others in your community have a great meal. You could volunteer at a food bank together during dinner hours once a month, or make a meal together as a family and deliver it to another family that has limited time or resources. Use these tips from our Food, Fun and Conversation: 4 Weeks to Better Family Dinners program to help get your kids engaged!

We’d also love to hear your ideas or family stories about any ways you show caring as a family! Visit us on our Facebook page. 

Food

QuicheFor Mother’s Day, we’ve got brunch on the brain. Here’s an easy recipe you can a) make with your family, or b) share with them and gracefully request that they make for you!

Customizable Quiche

 

 

Fun

FunFood Collage

Let your kids play with their food (and feel free to play, too!)! Take the elements of a salad such as sliced red pepper, cucumbers, avocado, carrot sticks, lettuce leaves, cherry tomatoes, bean sprouts, and nuts and have each person make a face out of these elements on a plate. Read More»

Conversation

Conversation

Here are new conversation starters all about caring.

Age 2-7

Talk about someone or something you care about a lot.

Have you ever taken care of someone—a sibling, a parent, a friend, a pet? What did you do for them?

Create a superhero committed to caring. What is his/her name? What do they do?

Age 8-13

How do you take care of yourself?

Who are the people who care about you most in the world. How do you know?

“As soon as you get over caring what people think, you can have a nice time,” said actress Lara Flynn Boyle. Do you care what other people think? In what ways?

Age 14-100

What is the most caring thing you’ve ever done? Or what is the most caring thing someone has ever done for you?

Margaret Mead is quoted as saying “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Can you give an example of this from your lifetime?

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