Mother’s Day offers a natural opportunity for kids to learn the elements of love and kindness.
Mother’s Day really is about mom. Moms should not feel like they need to turn their day into a necessary learning experience for their children. However, it’s impossible to ignore the fantastic opportunity for emotional awareness created by this highly interpersonal holiday. Mother’s Day provides an excellent opportunity for kids to learn the elements of love and kindness:
- Anticipating the needs of others
This Mother’s Day encourage your children to express their love and experience love and kindness with your family. Mother’s Day holds many of life’s lessons if you look for them.
The fact that kids are making the day special for mom helps them become empathetic to all that mom does the other 364 days of the year. Waking up early to get breakfast made while mom sleeps in is a simple activity that allows kids to grasp just how much is on mom’s plate on an ordinary day. When kids take on extra responsibility on Mother’s Day to give mom the day off, they learn to see the household from her point of view.
When moms sit back to graciously accept all of the kind things the rest of the family is doing, she is modeling graciousness. It shows her children that it is OK to accept help, praise and gifts. Some moms act like they do not want to be doted on out of a reflex of self-denial. There is no need to be hesitant to lean into the pampering. Your kids are learning the healthy skill of accepting good things offered by others without shame.
Anticipating the Needs of Others
When kids sit down to plan out a day for mom, they learn valuable lessons about how to anticipate the needs of others. It requires them to think about things she likes, consider the tasks that she might need help with, and plan activities that she might find enjoyable. Taking the lead to anticipate and fulfill another person’s needs can be an empowering experience for kids because they are often being taken care of.
Mother’s Day can be a time of reflection for kids. While the focus may be on planning fun things for mom, the core of the holiday is gratitude. It’s an excellent time for kids to reflect on why they are thankful for the things mom does while also putting that gratitude into action through kind and thoughtful gestures.
Mother’s Day creates an incredible opportunity for self-expression. It is one of the only holidays where kids can be in charge of planning. Coming up with unique ideas can be a fun and creative process that allows a child’s planning skills to shine. Kids can also practice self-expression by making homemade gifts for their mom that reflect the beauty of their unique relationship.
Maybe everything in the household is not perfect right now. Perhaps the last interaction your child had with you was a bit rocky. This is where Mother’s Day becomes a great lesson in accepting the flaws in others. Kids can learn that the purpose of Mother’s Day is not to celebrate you because they believe you are perfect. They can learn that it is a day to treasure you as a genuine, flawed human being. This is important because your child will never be in a relationship with a perfect person.
There’s no need to force Mother’s Day life lessons. Giving positive feedback regarding the creativity, thoughtfulness and kindness shown is a great way to highlight the built-in lessons being drawn out by this holiday. The best way to teach kids about love and kindness on Mother’s Day is to be fully open to giving and receiving love on this day.
Mother’s Day Mindfulness Activity: The Color of Love
For this activity, kids will put together a custom gift basket for mom that has a fun twist. The basket won’t just be filled with snacks, soaps, candles and other goodies that mom loves. Kids will focus on filling the basket with items that are mom’s favorite color.
This is such a great mindfulness activity for kids because it promotes a few different developmental skills. The first is identifying things that mom might like. Focusing on mom’s favorite color makes the project both more exciting and more personal. Finally, hunting for items that are a specific color is a great mindfulness exercise that requires kids to be genuinely present when browsing.
Anthony Cupo is a trained mindfulness facilitator (TMF) from the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He is a co-owner of Stepping Forward Counseling Center, LLC and has been meditating for over 30 years.