Monday, March 7, 2011

Warm Fuzzies

Despite the fact that February has been declared the month of love, last month’s sibling rivalry record was at all time high in these parts. Tearing two children apart from one another as they are in a battle to determine who has been given the most granola in their yogurt cup can be a little tiring.

In an effort to recognize the good deeds that take place in the home (because surely my children express their love for each other on occasion) and perhaps as a subtle attempt to instigate sibling bonding as opposed to sibling demolishing, I decided to start documenting daily acts of kindness in a way that my children would be known participants.  So, we started a warm fuzzy jar.

Each warm fuzzy in the jar represents an thoughtful act performed by a member in the family. For instance, say Hendrix offers to share his skittles with Avi without being asked; warm fuzzy. Or say Avi brings Hendrix a blanket after Drix expresses he is cold; warm fuzzy. Make sense? OK, good.

Warm fuzzies are reserved specifically for those from-the goodness-of-your-heart moments. I don’t add a warm fuzzy to the jar for any expected good behavior like taking dishes to the sink after a meal or brushing teeth. I also don’t remove warm fuzzies from the jar for any reason, once a fuzzy is granted, in the jar it stays. Although warm fuzzies are “earned” it’s less a reward system and more an attempt to acknowledge our efforts in loving more. That being said, I thought it might be a good idea to do something fun together as a family when the jar is full because I do want to show my appreciation for simple acts of kindness.

Before introducing the warm fuzzy jar to my kids, I had them help me glue googly eyes to colored pop-poms and afterwards I told them the warm fuzzy story I was so fond of in my grade school days. The version of the story I have (to paraphrase) chronicles the lives a of happy and loving townspeople who express their love to one another in the form of warm fuzzies. The fuzzies are given and received freely until a false rumor is spread about a shortage of warm fuzzies. The rumor causes the townspeople to become greedy and self-seeking as they begin to hoard and lock up their warm fuzzies. The tale ends in good moral, when a young child offers a warm fuzzy to a friend in despair which reminds the townspeople of the strength and love that was once a part of their village and the fuzzies are given freely once again. (This is my favorite adaptation of the fable but I was unable to find it online so if you email me, I’d be happy to send you a digital copy.)

What about you, what kind of things do you do to decrease sibling rivalry in your home? I’m seriously asking here—please don't tell me I am the only mother who has children that fight. Thanks in advance for your great advice!


  1. We have a "Brag Board" at our house. Whenever my husband or I find our kids doing something nice for someone else we write it on the board. The kids run to the board a few times every day to see who is on the board. We make sure to include something each child did and when one of the kids is having a hard day that can be difficult.

  2. This is such a cute idea. I really like the story that accompanies it and plan on borrowing it for my classroom when all of the "warm fuzzies" get hoarded. I love ideas from home that can be adapted for the classroom. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Natalia, not being a crafty sort of person I'm commenting to ask: WHERE do you get the artsy supplies? I never do anything with the kids, mostly because I don't want to make the trip to the store with three kids in two, only to have to end it early, purchasing nothing, because they've decided to argue over who gets to hole the silk flowers...get the picture? How do you simplify the getting-art-supplies process? How do you store them? Dumb down your response for me, because I really don't know where to even begin.
    Love you, and miss your whole fam.

  4. Sewfixed- Thank you for sharing your brag board idea. I'm totally going to remember that one for when the kids get a little older. This would be such a great thing for a child to see after a hard day at school too. The world isn't always so kind but the home can be. Email me your address and I will send you a bag of pom-poms and googley eyes as a thank you!

    Rorey- Warm Fuzzies would be perfect in a classroom setting! If you send me your email I will forward you my version of the story and you can decide if you want to use it or not.

    Camille- so I get most of my supplies at Michaels because that is all we really have here. To be honest though, my trips to Michaels are usually pretty short because I often know exactly what I need when I go in (which helps when the kids come with). I have a large (18 gallon-ish) bin that I store most of the crafting stuff in so often times I already have everything I need before I begin a project and if I don't, I can make do with something else I have. This probably doesn't help at all—I guess my short answer would be: work on building of a collection of craft supplies to minimize your store visits and buy stuff you know you will use when it's on sale. I'll email you a list of "must-have" crafting items if you want.

  5. I have a LOT of sibling rivalry going on because I adopted my niece who happens to be only a year younger than my own daughter!! So this idea is fantabulos!! Easy to make and fun for the kiddos to watch grow!! I think I will add a extra bit when the jar gets full we get to do something together extra as a family like going out ice cream, or playing soccer the park


Related Posts with Thumbnails