Have you ever read the book How Full is Your Bucket? Have you ever heard of it?
In fairness, I missed the hoopla of this 2004 book. I only know about it now because the boys introduced me to the kids’ version (How Full is Your Bucket? for Kids by Tom Rath).
In the book, an invisible bucket floats over everyone’s head. Bucket full? Feeling fine. Bucket empty? Feeling crummy. Every thing one does either fills the bucket or takes drops out.
Call someone a name? Drip.
Talk to the new kid at school? Drop.
(These were the kids’ examples. I added, “Don’t clean up after Spot on a walk? Drip. Telling a friend you like her new haircut. Drop.”)
The added bonus of adding drops into someone else’s bucket is that by doing so you’ll also help fill your own.
“What do you think we could do to fill each other’s bucket?” I pose the question to my boys.
“You could be nice?” A. answers a bit timidly, as if this concept of “nice” might be something he’s unfamiliar with.
“Yes!” I want to spark a conversation and give encouragement.
“How about you?” I ask F. He’s not interested in playing.
“I’d kick A.” He says this with a wicked smile and then begins to laugh.
“That would NOT fill my bucket!” A. is mad now. Since starting kindergarten he takes answering questions correctly very seriously.
“Drip. Drip.” My oldest adds.
“You’re right!” Again, I want to be positive. I gloss over the kicking comment.
“Let’s fill each other’s buckets today. OK?”
“No, I don’t want to!” F. lets out an evil laugh.