The Kindness of a Helping Hand

All week my daughters have been on every single one of each other’s nerves.  One minute they are completely inseparable besties and the very next minute there is weeping, wailing, and the girly-version of “gnashing of teeth” known as hair-pulling.  Not only have they been on all of each other’s nerves but they have certainly worn down the very last one that I possessed.

But yesterday, I turned the tables on them.  Rather than just dishing out punishments, I did discipline a little differently.  After 20 minutes of sifting through their sobs to determine the root cause of this latest altercation, I boiled the whole argument down to one word for them: selfishness.  They both wanted what they wanted and neither of them stopped for one second to think about this dilemma from the other person’s perspective.  So (along with an extra early bedtime) I assigned them each a task: they each had to perform at least 3 random acts of kindness for the other sometime in the next 24 hours.

Ella ran up and held the door for Sophie when she had a bunch of books in her arms.  Sophie made Ella’s bed and arranged her stuffed animals exactly the way Ella likes them.  The acts of kindness carried on into this morning: each one helping the other fold pajamas, complete chores, and pick up messes.

Somewhere in searching for ways to show kindness to each other, they learned exactly the lesson I was hoping to teach.  They realized that helpfulness and humility go hand in hand.  It turns out that looking for ways to help and serve others minimizes our natural tendency to focus on ourselves and maximizes our desire to think of others first.

It’s really exactly the kind of attitude Paul was talking about when he penned these words in his letter to the Philipians:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of the others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:3-5

Call me an optimist, but I’m hopeful {if they can master this with each other first} that these kind ways, humble hearts, and helping hands are powerful enough to change the world.



**This post is part of an online community. A prompt is given every Friday and we are encouraged to just free-write for 5 minutes and post it to our blogs without over-thinking or editing. If you’d like to participate, you can get more info and link-up on this site.  This week’s writing prompt was, “Help.”

7 thoughts on “The Kindness of a Helping Hand

  1. “It turns out that looking for ways to help and serve others minimizes our natural tendency to focus on ourselves and maximizes our desire to think of others first.” I love this, and it’s so true, Nicole! I love how you so aptly described the scenario in your home, and how you creatively dealt with your precious girls in a way that is teaching them to put others above themselves. How this world needs unselfish people! I’m sure they will do great things as they continue to grow in God under your wise and loving guidance. Visiting you back from Five Minute Friday, and I’m glad to have “met” you here!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. What a twist on discipline! Hopefully it becomes contagious from one generation to the next throughout all families of every nation!

        Liked by 1 person

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