The Huffington Post recently reported a story about a six year old boy named Jaden Hayes. Jaden’s father died two years ago and his mother recently died in her sleep of unknown causes.
What makes Jaden’s story unique is that Jaden told his aunt he wanted to make people smile. He was tired of seeing the sad and grieving faces, so “The Smile Experiment” was created. Jaden armed himself with beads and toys to hand out to others on the streets of Savannah, Georgia. His favorite toy to give to little children is rubber ducks.
With help from the Internet, Jaden’s smile experiment started gaining momentum. His cousin, Natasha Compton, not only named the experiment but has also documented it on Instagram. Individuals from Australia have even sent smiles!
Jaden’s goal is to obtain 500 smiles. Not including the smiles that have been sent over the Internet, the last count showed he was at more than 300 smiles. With each smile he receives, Jaden is coping with his significant loss.
“I do believe that The Smile Experiment is helping Jaden process the loss of his mother, but it is also showing him that even one smile can make a difference,” Natasha said. “I am pretty sure that is something he already knew, but just needed to be reminded of.”
“As far as others go, the experiment is definitely helping my mother and I cope with our loss and through Jaden we are seeing that no matter how bad you are hurting, if you can smile, for whatever reason, it will eventually start to get easier,” she said.
If you are interested in sharing a smile for Jaden on social media, use the hashtag #TheSmileExperiment. Natasha shows her cousin Jaden all of the photos that are sent online so he knows that his mission, just like a smile, is touching others.
If you have children and you are going through a divorce, it is important to understand that they will feel loss. Every child deals with loss differently, but we are here to help. Your children’s best interests are our top priority.
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