7 Reasons You Should Teach Your Kids to Be Kind
Parents are early role models for their children and most parents strive to teach their kids essential core values like honesty, integrity and compassion. However, recent studies indicate that more and more kids are receiving mixed messages, as their authority figures prioritize accomplishment and performance over common decency. While human beings are hardwired for kindness, we must be shown how to cultivate this attribute––kids, in particular, need that guidance. There are several benefits to developing kindness in the next generation, and here are seven reasons you should instill that value in your kids.
Kindness Increases Their Self-Esteem
Whether they volunteer at a local organization, befriend the new student in their class, or bake cookies for a neighbor, sincere intentions can have a profound and meaningful effect on another person’s circumstances. Realizing they’ve made a difference or helped someone else can build confidence and empower your child.
Kindness Inspires a Positive Attitude
According to research conducted at the University of California Berkeley, altruistic behaviors trigger endorphins in the region of the brain associated with gratification, enthusiasm, contentment and optimism. The result is a sensation known as “helper’s high” which can enhance your child’s mood and improve their outlook.
Kindness Enriches Relationships
Peer acceptance is a basic component of social, emotional and psychological maturity, so raising a well-adjusted child means teaching them to build genuine connections. The Public Library of Science has found that children who interact with others in a respectful and courteous manner tend to attract more friendships.
Kindness Reduces Stress
The way your child treats others can impact their mental health, as researchers from the Association of Psychological Science have discovered. Anxiety, tension or lack of focus can harm their academics, relationships and other areas of development, but unselfish actions produce a constructive response to daily stressors.
Kindness Promotes Gratitude
Participating in a charitable cause gives children a firsthand glimpse into the lives of those considered less fortunate, which can offer a renewed perspective on their own situations. This newfound appreciation also evokes your child’s generosity and compassion, so encourage them to participate in a food drive, and volunteer at a shelter, soup kitchen or hospital.
Kindness Sparks Their Social Awareness
Conscious, empathetic and responsible citizens are a product of benevolence taught and modeled from a young age. In order to nurture a humanitarian-minded child with a passion for social justice and heartfelt concern for the “common good,” ensure they understand the ripple effect of putting another’s interests before their own.
Kindness Sustains Their Well-Being
Based on findings published by John Hopkins University, demonstrations of altruism release the hormone oxytocin which promotes physical benefits like decreased inflammation, blood pressure or attacks on the immune system. So, motivating your child to offer a helping hand can make an impression on their health and longevity.
For an impactful, rewarding and enjoyable––not to mention, kid-approved––way to foster kindness in the classroom, community or across the globe, encourage your child to participate in Kid Kindness Month, taking place throughout January 2017. They’ll discover how making a difference is also an opportunity to use their talents, get creative, establish friendships and spread positive energy. Children are the world-changers of tomorrow, so help them begin that process today!