“Be pretty on the inside.” – my mom

Every morning on my way out the door to get on the bus my mom would say, “be pretty on the inside” and I would say “ok, mom.” But I always thought, how? How am I supposed to be pretty on the inside when there is so much ugly and mean going on around me on the outside.

When This, my oldest, started kindergarten this year I wanted to make sure she wasn’t just told to be “pretty on the inside” but to actually BE “pretty on the inside”

So we started a compliment jar. Everyday one person gets a compliment, and everyday This gets to feel good about “filling someone’s bucket.”


Here’s how the compliment jar works:

First – I got This’s class roster, and found some jumbo wood craft sticks I had downstairs

Second – I wrote each students name on a stick (don’t forget to include the teachers! they deserve a nice pick me up to 🙂 )

Third – we picked out 2 small mason jars and put all the sticks into 1 jar

Now – every morning This picks out 1 stick and is supposed to give that classmate or teacher a compliment. When she comes home, I ask who she picked that day, and what did she say to them.

Then we put the used stick into the other jar, so there aren’t any repeats, and pick a new one for the next day. *wash, rinse, repeat* — except if she forgets, then we keep the same name for the next day.

Not only has complimenting classmates given This a chance to be pretty on the inside, it has given her the chance to talk to everyone in her class. She isn’t allowed to leave anyone out. Even when she says to me – “but mom that kid isn’t very nice to me” – I tell her that maybe THAT kid really needs  to be told something nice today. Maybe he/she doesn’t have many people that are nice to them, so they aren’t nice to others.

I’m so proud of how she has done this first month, she has approx. 20 kids in her class so it ends up that everyone gets a compliment from her at least once a month.

We emptied her jar the other night and I decided since it worked so well, we would make them pretty and start all over again.

The jars started out plain jane and we wanted a way to figure out how to keep the jars straight – ya know, which sticks she had used and which sticks she hadn’t – so that brought me to pinterest and making tinted mason jars. I followed this PIN to create the jars.

This and I decided the easiest way to remember which sticks needed to be used would go in the “Go” green jar, and ones that had already been used would go into the “Stop” red jar.

After tinting the jars they seemed to be missing something, so I went to the “crafting dungeon” and pulled out some tulle I had. Grabbed a couple simple hair ties and made mini tutu’s!

The end result

** I’ve also found that it helps her to read and recognize her classmates names. Tonight she grabbed a stick and asked who it was, I told her that she needed to tell me – who do you think it is, I said – and I’ll be damned she got it.

Again, so proud of my girl…I intend to continue doing this throughout the years, and to start with That when she goes to school – she already loves picking out a name 🙂

We all need a little more kindness in our lives – let’s all try just a little bit harder to

“Be pretty on the inside”


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