Teach Your Kids KINDNESS
Feel good emotions are addictive – and we should make sure we can’t get enough, but helping people is one of the biggest way we can boost these feelings.
Scientific studies have shown that kindness has a great number of physical and emotional benefits, and that children require a healthy dose of the warm and fuzzies in order to flourish as health, happy, well-rounded individuals.
Patty O’Grady, PhD, is an expert in the area of neuroscience, emotional learning, and positive psychology with special attention to the educational arena. She believes that “kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it. Kindness is an emotion that students feel and empathy is a strength that they share.”
6 Reasons For Teaching Kindness To Children
1. Happy Children
Science explains that the good feelings we experience when being kind are produced by endorphins that activate areas of the brain that are associated with pleasure, social connection and trust!
2. Increased Peer Acceptance
Research shows kindness increases our ability to form meaningful connections with others. Studies show that kind, happy children enjoy greater peer acceptance because they are well-liked and that better than average mental health.
3. Improved Health and Less Stress
Being kind triggers the hormone oxytocin which can significantly increase levels of happiness and reduce stress. It’s also been found it plays a significant role in the cardiovascular system, helping protect the heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing free radicals and inflammation, which incidentally speed up the aging process.
4. Greater Sense of Belonging and Improved Self Esteem
Studies show people experience a ‘helpers high’ when they do a good deed, a rush of endorphins that creates a lasting sense of pride, well-being and an enriched sense of belonging.
5. Increased Feelings of Gratitude
When children are part of projects that help others less fortunate than themselves, it provides them with a real sense of perspective and helps them appreciate the good things in their own lives.
6. Better Concentration and Improved Results
Serotonin plays an important part in learning, memory, mood, sleep, health and digestion, kindness is a key ingredient that helps increase serotonin and makes children feel good. This also leads to more creative thinking and improved results in school!
So there we have it. The receipt of kindness and the ability to show kindness through service are both growth enhancing and soul cleansing.
The good news is – kindness can be taught, and as parents lets make it a priority!