Sometimes we feel like our culture is inundated with examples of people treating each other badly: politicians arguing over garbage on live TV are commonplace, and complete strangers leaving hurtful comments. social media is practically a national pastime – which is quite possibly why 70 percent of parents fear the world is a hostile place, according to a national survey commissioned by Sesame Street.
But the calls to be kind to one another are growing. Harry styles hums on the importance of treating others with kindness, schools around the world are implement the lessons that teach empathy and compassion, and science is increasingly focusing on the benefits of a gentler world.
Ahead of World Kindness Day on November 13, here are some tips for parents to encourage the good deeds of their children. The first step is to understand that kindness or gestures such as a quick smile or saying hello to a stranger is more of a behavior than a trait. “Being nice means you’re friendly and open, but it doesn’t require any action,” Brooke Jones, vice president of the Random acts of kindness foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to making kindness a societal norm, says SheKnows. In contrast, kindness is about actively practicing compassion, empathy, and generosity. “Kindness requires that you do something, like offering a helping hand, sharing what you have, or listening to someone’s suffering,” she says.
“Everyone, including children, is naturally capable of being nice, but there is a caveat. “
The good news is that everyone, including children, is naturally capable of being kind, but there is a caveat: Kindness must be cultivated in order for it to flourish. “We are all born with the potential for good and evil”, Dr Lea Lis, a based in Southampton, New York child and adult psychiatrist, says SheKnows. But it is the behavior we observe in person, in entertainment, and online as children that shapes our understanding of morality and our own conduct. “We are uncivilized people from birth,” she says. And it’s the parents, as well as the surrounding community, who help us learn to be kind.
Kindness not only makes everyday interactions more enjoyable and creates deeper bonds with others, but it also triggers a host of physical and psychological training effects: well-being by promoting the exit of dopamine and oxytocin, which can improve mood, minimize stress, reduce depression, and lower blood pressure. Performing acts of kindness and being selfless towards others have also been shown to be reduce physical pain and make people happier overall.
And when schools integrate kindness into a curriculum focused on social and emotional learning (a framework for getting along with others and dealing with emotions), it can prevent bullying, improve student grades, and improve social skills. .
Here are some tips to encourage kindness in your child.
Be a good role model
“Children are like little sponges” Dr Harvey Karp, pediatrician and author of The happiest baby in the neighborhood and The happiest toddler in the neighborhood, said SheKnows. “They soak up everything they see and hear.” So show how you would like your child to behave by performing small acts of kindness like holding a door open, picking up a grocery item that has fallen from a stranger’s cart, normalizing by saying “Please” and “Thank you” and be a good listener when someone is speaking.
Shine a light on cuteness when you see it
Even though it seems like everyone is angry these days, kindness is actually all around us. “People are always generous with what they have, say nice things to people and let others line up in front of them. [in public]Jones says. And reporting these examples, whether when you see them in person or online, will let kids know that you appreciate this kind of behavior. It also helps children learn to identify it, which makes it easier for them to imitate it. “It doesn’t have to be a big conference,” says Dr. Karp, but rather casual comments about the inspiring things you see in the world.
Nadja Hoath, a teacher in Richmond, BC, who has worked with six- and seven-year-olds for 30 years, does so by opening her students’ eyes to positive examples in their own classroom. “When we see cuteness in a book or witness it on the playground when someone is alone or falls down, we notice it as a class and name it to help it fit into the thinking of children, ”Hoath told SheKnows, stressing that repetition is crucial. . “We often assume that children know how to recognize these behaviors and act on them, but often they don’t really know. “
Teach children to manage their anger
According to Lis, it’s important to note that meanness can come from anger. And because anger can cause children to reason about their emotions rather than logic, it can lead to instinctive and mean reactions. Help prevent this chain of events by teaching children the importance of creating a breaking moment – like taking a deep breath or splashing cold water on their face – to help defuse their emotions before making decisions or react to a situation.
Create opportunities for children to practice kindness
The most effective way for children to learn to be kind is to experience the joy that it can bring to their lives.
the others – and themselves. Karp suggests doing this by making a family ‘nice jar’ and filling it with little notes bearing items your kids enjoy, encouraging your kid to write a ‘thank you’ letter, drawing a picture for someone from it. apart from your family and giving it to them, or volunteering together in the community.
“The sooner you get children to talk about kindness and practice it in their daily lives, the more
rooted it becomes, ”says Hoath. You’ll know it works when they do good deeds when they don’t realize someone is watching them. “When they’re ready to take action and be compassionate,” she says, “that’s kindness”.
These celebrities are honest with their children about racism.