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How to Support the Development of Kindness & Empathy in Our Youth

Courtesy of Positive Coaching Alliance

"88% of teens say that the home is the most effective place to learn kindness, compassion, and inclusivity." - The 2022 Choose Kindness Project Survey, conducted by Ipsos Kindness is a skill that needs to be developed. It has the power to overcome differences and bridge divides. Just like any other skill, it must be taught and continuously developed. You have the power to start teaching kindness skills at home.

How to Teach Kindness at Home:

  • Talk to your child about why it's important to be kind.
  • Teach your child that kindness is a muscle by consistently participating in larger acts of kindness like volunteering.
  • Model kindness and empathy for your children in what you do and say.
  • Understand what social-emotional skills are, and how to support their development.

What is Empathy?

Empathy is a concerted response to another person’s feelings. It involves feeling, thinking, and even a physical reaction that our bodies have to other people when we relate to how they feel. A key component of practicing kindness and empathy with others is showing patience, generosity, and a willingness to hear someone else’s perspective.

Cultivating Inclusion & Allyship

  • Intentional inclusion is when you accept, value, and include someone who is different from you.

  • Allyship, or being an ally, is showing compassion and support for someone or communities who might be a target of bias and or bullying.

  • How can you promote intentional inclusion and allyship at home?

    • Not judging others, being mindful to not exclude those who are different from ourselves in our activities, encouraging your child to reach out to those who are either sitting alone or on the sideline.

  • Five ways to be an ally when you witness bullying or harassment.

    • Support people who are targets for bias and/or bullying, whether you know them or not.
    • Don’t participate.
    • Tell the person who is showing unkind behaviors to stop.
    • Inform a trusted adult.
    • Get to know people instead of judging them. Be an ally online.

Actionable, Age-Appropriate Resources We have options for your situation:

  • Conversation starters
  • Learning activities
  • Playlists
  • Sing-a-long videos
  • Real-life examples
  • Podcasts
  • Practical routines
  • Journal prompts
  • Bingo cards
  • Kindness planner
  • Making videos
  • Games
  • Storytelling
  • Program creation