Teaching kindness to kids

By | 2017-08-22T20:24:31+00:00 February 16th, 2016|For teachers|1 Comment

#RandomActsofKindnessWeek is upon us and in today’s blog we explore the benefits of teaching kindness at school. Find out why you should consider adding it to your curriculum, and how you can start teaching it today!

The science of being kind

Due to its obvious importance, kindness has been scientifically studied countless times. Years of research have confirmed that doing nice things for others improves not only your sense wellbeing, but also helps your body to physically deal with day to day challenges more effectively. In fact, here are just 3 ways teaching kindness could help your students:

  1. It improves self-confidence

Doing good and serving others can give you a sense of belonging and higher self esteem. This is because, when you perform a kind act, your body releases serotonin, which performs many positive functions including increasing feelings of worthiness.

  1. It reduces stress

Experts agree that being kind increases your levels of another hormone called oxytocin, known as ‘the love drug’ which is also shown to reduce anxiety. It has multiple psychological effects including increasing empathy and strengthening your ability to bond socially.

  1. It boosts your mood

When you are kind to another person, the brain releases endorphins. In fact, the brain’s pleasure centres light up the same amount whether you are the giver or the recipient of an act of kindness, so it’s a win-win for everyone! Some psychological studies show that even witnessing someone else do good has a positive effect!

How to start

So how do you go about teaching kindness? To begin with, we recommend you visit the #RandonActsofKindness website, where there is a whole host of age suitable lesson plans (including kindergarten and high school) waiting for you. Make sure that your students understand the concepts of kindness and compassion, and that they are aware of the benefits of practicing them.

You can also encourage students to start ‘kindness journals’, noting down every time they are nice to someone else or another student does something nice for them. This helps them learn to express gratitude and appreciate all these little moments which would otherwise go unnoticed. As a teacher, make sure that you also take the time to reflect on your students’ ‘kindness journey’.

Finally, remember that changes do not happen overnight. Viewing others with empathy often takes time, practice and, above all, concentrated awareness.

Have you planned any projects for #RandomActsofKindnessWeek? Be sure to upload the results and share them with us!

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