how to inspire happiness in your home with kids

reading with your children

Hi, babes!! One of my favorite series that used to be on my blog was the “Tiny Tuesday” series. If you’ve been following since the beginning then you’ll remember every Tuesday I would post outfits and subjects related to my girls when they were babies. As they’ve gotten older they have had less of a desire to take photos and be on social media, so I’ve let it fade. But, one of the topics you all requested more of for 2020 was parenting. So while there may no longer be a series titled “Tiny Tuesday” on my blog anymore, I will be posting a lot more about parenthood.

I am not expert at parenting, but what I’ve learned over the past 6 years is that I, as a mom, learn so much from other moms simply sharing their triumphs and their struggles. So, my hope is that you’ll glean something from reading about the things we’re doing in our home that are working and the things that are not working so well. And hopefully I’ll learn something from you, too!

reading with your children

Alright, let’s get down to business. Today we’re chatting about how to inspire happiness in your home because frankly, it’s something we are working on all the time. Emma Grace (our oldest) is our rule-follower, type-A personality, perfectionist. She loves to please others and discipline is easy with her; she hates to disappoint. Abigail (our youngest) is our spunky, fun-loving, hug-needing child. She is also extremely stubborn and extremely hard to discipline. There isn’t a lot that phases her. She loves her big sister, but she also loves to pester her big sister. She often makes up for any lack of confidence she may feel by trying to be the boss and control the room whether that’s with friends of family. It’s thrown us for a loop!

The terrible twos were not too bad, but the three-nager stage was rough, and the FU fours are even more challenging. Earlier this year, Travis and I felt at a true loss on how to shepherd Abby when it came to encouraging her to be kind to others. We were memorizing verses and praying as a family that we would show others love with our words and actions. It didn’t seem to be getting through to her.

reading with your children

Then one day, as I was sharing this with a good friend of mine, she recommended we read “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” to our girls. She swore that it changed the way her kids interacted in and out their home and she promptly lent me their copy. We went straight home and read it to our girls that night.

The overall message of the book is this: everyone carries around an invisible bucket with them. As humans we can either help fill others’ buckets or dip into their buckets. We can fill and dip into our own as well! When we’re kind, say nice things, or follow our parents rules, we help fill our bucket and others. But when we say or do mean things, we dip into other peoples buckets. When you fill buckets, you are helping the world be a better place. One hopes to fill their buckets and others by the end of the day!

Such a cute message right? I love how it teaches kindness and empathy and y’all, the metaphor is so easy for kids to grasp. Abby is 4 and understood it right away, but my friend that lent me the book, her son is younger and he got it, too!

After I read the book to my girls I was curious if they would ingest it. Then, the next day something so cool happened! They started using the phrase “I filled her bucket” without my prompting. Abby came to tell me she filled Emma’s bucket by taking her dirty clothes to the laundry. Emma told me she filled someone’s bucket by including them at recess. Now the phrase “filling someone’s bucket” is a common phrase in our home. When the girls are obedient or kind we compliment their ability to fill someone else’s bucket. When they are fighting or disobedient, we ask if they think their actions are filling a bucket or dipping into someone’s bucket. It’s a game changer!

Again, I am no expert, but this book has been so helpful in our home and I truly think it would be beneficial in any and every family!

photography: maribel morales