Notice the Good Jar Celebrates Family Kindness

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When we notice the good, we’re actively choosing a positive mindset. This is a simple way to grow gratitude — but it takes practice. Start a Notice the Good Jar to regularly notice and celebrate acts of kindness in your family.

Materials

  • Mason jar or empty jam jar, glass vase
  • Label
  • Pens, stickers to decorate label (ie: Notice the Good)
  • Pom poms (or anything you want) to put in the jar for each random act of kindness
  • Bowl, bucket or other container to keep the pom poms in

Instructions

  • Family members keep an eye out for random acts of kindness performed by other family members
  • Tell others about each act of kindness you observe
  • Place a pom pom into the jar for each one
  • When the jar fills up, celebrate together with a special activity or treat

How to Do It

  • Kids can notice each other’s acts of kindness but should check with a grown-up
  • Adults have to make sure that acts of kindness are both genuine and random. For example, one sibling sharing their treat with another sibling, unprompted.
  • Decide as a family what the celebration will be when the jar is full. Try to choose something experiential rather than material, like a family picnic or board night.

The Science Behind the Smiles

Our natural human default is to notice what isn’t going well. This negativity bias isn’t easy to combat. In fact, research shows it takes five positive events to overcome the effects of a single negative one.  

The good news is, research also shows noticing kindness is as powerful as doing acts of kindness when it comes to inspiring us to commit our own kind acts. That’s because our brains accesses our own past experiences of giving and receiving kindness. This, in turn, makes us feel warm and fuzzy (so to speak), inspiring gratitude and encouraging us to do our own kind acts.

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