This year will be our fourth go at The April RAOK Challenge, and the movement is growing, including schools, and sororities, and clubs and businesses. I think, though, that the biggest benefit is getting our kids involved with kindness early on in their lives.
My daughters are now 12 and 16. When we started they were 9 and 13. We've made cookies for the local fire department, passed out cold drinks on a hot day, and the parking fee for the person behind us entering an amusement parking lot.
I have found that our daughters learn good behaviors (and probably bad ones, as well) through what my wife and I model: eating, exercise, reading, refraining from profanity, and even kindness. When they see us helping someone on the street or mowing the neighbor's lawn, they realize this is jus "what we do" and they become a part of the experience.
It also gives us common ground what with them being in the teen/tween years. At this age, our daughters don't necessarily always want to be around us (unless we are taking them somewhere or buying them something), but when we're baking to surprise someone, or we're giving people cold drinks, they don't mind so much being in the kitchen or on the bike path with their parents.
And, as it turns out, kids who are kind to others, who give to their community, who volunteer have increased self-esteem and confidence, decreased stress, are calmer and end up doing better in school. They feel a connection to their community and realize they are part of something bigger than just themselves.
I am thrilled to be sharing RAOK Month with my daughters again this April. If you would like to learn more about it join us on Facebook. Also, here's a list of kid-friendly RAOK you might consider sharing with your child. Finally, here's a list of RAOK videos that inspire young people.
image courtesy of ©MorgueFile.com/rosevita