Did you know that November 13 is World Kindness Day? Every year, Random Acts of Kindness designates a day when everyone should at least one random act of kindness. Families around the country participate in this fun, charitable day where we show our fellow neighbors how good it can feel to do good in the world. At TLC Schools, we believe we can inspire kindness in your child. Being charitable is an essential part of a well-rounded education. Beyond helping children become good citizens and kind neighbors, there are a number of reasons to teach kindness.
Teaching Kindness Increases Emotional Health
Being kind is a great way to teach empathy. Empathy is one of the most unique traits a human being has and is part of the reason why we have come so far as a species. Empathy allows us to consider how another person feels. Being kind requires a child to understand how another person is feeling in order to best act in a kind manner. Empathy goes a long way in reducing bullying and promoting a sense of fraternity among peers.
Kindness is Addictive
It turns out that when we are kind to others, our brain rewards us with feel-good hormones called endorphins. Endorphins trigger a sense of happiness and connection in the brain, so when we make others happy, we feel happy as well. Endorphins, it turns out, are also contagious. When someone else sees another person being happy, their brain encourages them to be happy, too. This chain reaction of kindness is a great way to make your child feel like a part of a community. Being kind is also healthy: charitable actions also release oxytocin, which helps reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure. While this benefit might not be helpful to a young child, establishing kind habits early sets them up for kindness later.
So how do you teach your child kindness? Here are a few tips:
- Point out opportunities to be kind and let your child do them under your supervision
- Encourage your child to make friends with other children, particularly ones that look lonely
- Pack extra snacks so that your child can share with friends
- If your child is involved in sports, teach good sportsmanship and being both a gracious winner and a good loser
- Discourage name-calling and trash talking while promoting manners and kindness
- Remember that children imitate, so be sure to demonstrate kindness in front of your child!