Magazine article Curriculum Review

Encouraging Kindness in Kids

Magazine article Curriculum Review

Encouraging Kindness in Kids

Article excerpt

Bullying and cyber bullying are an ongoing problem among today's youth. But one of the best ways to reduce bullying is by teaching kids how to be kind and empathetic to others (look for more information on preventing bullying at school as part of National Anti-Bullying Month in October).

When children learn to be caring and kind, they also benefit developmentally. Well-liked children display more positive, fewer bullying behaviors when they become teenagers, according to an article by the Greater Good Science Center. Happier kids are more likely to show higher academic achievement. Being kind encourages friendships and better relationships with teachers. And it makes you feel good about yourself and improves your outlook on life.

Here are some tips to help foster kindness at school:

1. When setting up your workspace for the year, hang posters of people interacting with each other: Even a subtle image of two people looking at each other can create a sense of connectedness and foster kindness. Such visual cues also let students know that you value this kind of behavior.

2. Greet students on the first day of school--and every day after that--as you see them: Students are more likely to behave with kindness if they feel a sense of belonging. The Greater Good Science Center reported that a study of 158 tenth- and twelfth-grade students found that those who felt connected to their teachers and other students scored higher in empathy--a building block of prosocial behavior.

3. From the first day of school to the last, use a positive, warm tone of voice: Students' prosocial skills increase when they are part of a caring environment. …

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