This year, Wilson Elementary is enthusiastically introducing a new character development program called Bucket Filling! To begin this concept, we will read the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud. Click here to have it read aloud!
The book explains that we all carry an invisible bucket in which we keep our good thoughts and feelings about ourselves. This bucket represents our social and emotional health. When our buckets are full, we are happy; when our buckets are empty, we are sad. Children quickly understand that they can fill buckets when they do and say things that are kind, considerate, caring, and respectful. They also learn that when they are mean, inconsiderate, uncaring, or disrespectful, they dip into buckets and remove those good feelings. Every choice we decide either makes us a “bucket filler” or a “bucket dipper”.
So how do we fill a bucket? You can fill a bucket when you show love to someone, when you smile, make someone feel special, or do something kind. A bucket filler is someone who says or does nice things to other people. They help without being asked, give hugs and compliments, read to a younger sibling, or invite a new friend to play. By filling other people’s buckets, we fill our own bucket too! A great message from this book is the realization that giving not only helps the receiver, but it also benefits the giver!
What do bucket dippers do? Bucket dippers rob us of happy feelings by refusing to help with a task, by saying or doing mean things, by making fun of someone, or by ignoring or excluding someone. Bucket dippers act this way because they have empty buckets. They think that they can fill their bucket by dipping into our bucket, but that will never work. A bully is an example of a bucket dipper.
Students will be encouraged to be bucket fillers both at home and at school, and I invite you to use these terms with your child. It is a simple message with a big outcome!