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Challenge: Raising Kind Kids

The Surprising Lesson on Kindness at the Grocery Store

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I got to spend some one-on-one time with my oldest daughter today.

She’s five. She took me to Trader Joe’s. (I drove.)

We had to pick out snacks for the upcoming week since that’s all any of my four children ever eat around here.

She weaved up and down aisles with me on her heels. We tried a sample of fresh strawberry lemonade, some spinach artichoke dip with a whole grain tortilla, and even stopped to smell the flowers, literally. The bouquets were beautiful.

When it was time to go, she wheeled her mini red, toddler-sized shopping cart to the cash register, and the employee asked if she would like some stickers.

Her face lit up.

Stickers are my daughter’s love language. And candy and chocolate frosting. But stickers are right up there...

The employee handed my daughter a row of six scratch-and-sniff stickers. She radiated with a bright, toothy smile from ear to ear.

And as she clenched them in her tiny brown hands, she gasped.

“MOMMY! THE GIRLS WILL LOVE THESE SO MUCH!!”

She coveted these six circular stickers like they were as valuable as gold and as fragile as glass. And the first thing my sweet daughter thought of when she was handed these precious-to-her stickers wasn’t herself. It was about how happy her sisters would be when she shared.

The cashier caught wind of my young daughter’s generosity and handed her even more stickers to share along with a handful of bright red, cherry suckers. Kindness was returned and multiplied right there in that Trader Joe’s checkout line.

I don’t remember what the total was when I swiped my debit card. To be honest, I don’t even know what we bought.

But what I do know is this:

As parents, we all try to raise kind and thoughtful kids. And it’s nice to know there are others in our path – even complete strangers at the grocery store -- who encourage our children to love others in big (and small) ways.

A version of this post originally appeared on www.ShelleySkuster.com

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