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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

An antidote to holiday stress

After spending several days talking about the stresses of the holidays, I will switch gears and write about one sure-fire way to bring genuine happiness to you and your children.  I'm talking about kindness...looking for ways to do something nice for someone else.  When we stop thinking so much about ourselves, our wants, our needs, our worries and think instead of what we can do for someone else, our burdens are lightened and we feel the peace and joy that we are searching for during the holiday season.

This is something we can and should teach our children.  We can encourage them to look for ways they can be kind or look for things they can do to help their siblings or their parents.  Maybe every evening at dinner, you can go around the table and ask everyone to tell one kind thing they did that day.  Although some of the most rewarding service is anonymous, children need positive reinforcement to help them get started.   You might even reward them with a treat (maybe a small candy cane) or a gold star on a chart to give them incentive.

 Everywhere you look, there are opportunities to show kindness, especially in this crazy, fast-paced world we live in.  Whether at home, at work or out about town, there are ways to brighten someone's day.  We're not even talking about something big, elaborate or time-consuming.  A small gesture can have a great impact.  Not only will you make someone happier, you'll have good warm fuzzy feelings too.


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