Be a Happy Bucket Filler!

April 18, 2019

Carol McCloud’s award winning book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? urges us to be Happy Bucket fillers.

April is Child Abuse Prevention month and I could dive into the many negative aspects of child abuse. I could restate the American Academy of Pediatrics position paper on corporal punishment. I could talk about sexual abuse and its effects as an adverse childhood experience. And yes, I could discuss the impact of emotional, physical and financial abuse on children.

But I prefer not to go into the grisly details and dark statistics and would rather put a positive spin on the subject by discussing Carol McCloud’s concept of Happy Bucket filling.

As a creative educator, child mentor and youth counselor, Carol developed the concept that everybody has an invisible bucket – an invisible happy bucket that we can put kindness and love and well wishes and nice thoughts into and by doing so, fill their happy bucket with happiness.

On the other hand, we can insult them, do mean things, talk badly about them and take happiness out of their bucket.

As Carol McCloud views it, people who insult and demean and do unkind things are bucket dippers; people who do kind things and loving things are bucket fillers. The happy bucket should be full, not empty. Everybody should have a bucket overflowing with happiness.

Bucket filling represents a positive approach to parenting and an effective means of discipline. As a parents, we can fill our children’s happy bucket by being kind, by being respectful, by appreciating them, by apologizing if we do something that we didn’t mean to do.

When you fill your children’s happy bucket, they grow into emotionally stable, well-adjusted individuals AND they become bucket fillers instead of bucket dippers. We want our children to bucket fillers, not bucket dippers.

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! Power your path to happiness. Fill your children’s bucket with happiness and be sure to subscribe Be Healthy! Be Happy! with Dr. Jim on YouTube.


Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids: Carol McCloud, David Messing, 2015. Online [available at]: