Have You Filled A Bucket Today? (E M P A T H Y)

Counselor Corner

December might be my favorite (if craziest) month at Lincoln Park because our character trait is Empathy!  In the month of December, we practice and celebrate empathy, caring and kindness, focusing on the small actions of human contact that make the dark days of winter a little brighter – smiles, high-fives, helping hands, compliments and good cheer.


We use Carol McCloud’s book, Have you Filled A Bucket Today? to talk about caring.  The idea of the book is that everyone has an ‘invisible bucket’ that holds happiness and good feelings.  If you do show caring to or for another person, it fills up his or her bucket.  Unkind or rude actions empty buckets : (  If you fill or empty someone’s bucket, it fills or empties your bucket too – when you are kind to others, your happiness grows!  Being cruel only makes you more unhappy, which is why Lincoln Park Lions are Bucket Fillers.

If you’d like to reinforce what your student has been learning, bucket-filling books are available at the library and there are many resources online, including YouTube videos and McCloud’s website.  The most important thing to remember is that bucket-filling is free! All it takes is a smile, a greeting, a helping hand to make the world a more caring place!


Some ways to fill a bucket

  • smiling
  • laughing
  • helping
  • compliments
  • playing
  • dancing
  • singing
  • giving
  • going for a walk
  • looking at something beautiful
  • making something beautiful
  • doing things together