How important is it to you that your child is kind? A new survey on kindness from Sesame Street, K is for Kind, looked to answer that question. Sesame Street surveyed over 2,000 parents and teachers to learn about their thoughts about kindness. I decided to review the survey to see what other parents thought. The results were quite interesting because of the mixed results. Most parents think that kindness is important but also believe the world is an unkind place for their children. It made me sad to learn how parents feel about the world today but I could totally understand why they thought this way. How many news reports talk about how nice and helpful someone is? How many news reports discuss world leaders working cooperatively and saying nice things about their opponents? The recent presidential debates are a prime example of what young people are witnessing today. The candidates didn’t even shake each other’s hands when they greeted one another. It took the very end of the debate for one of the town hall audience members to ask of them to say what they admired about each other. Surprisingly, they each had a response. I thought to myself, “if this could only last.” But unfortunately, it was short lived.
Despite what the media might shows us as reality, kindness does exist. It’s seen everyday. A little boy sharing his toys with his little brother. A little girl that gives her teacher a hug. A woman bringing food and clothing to a family that’s just lost their home.
Parents are the keys to teaching children kindness. Kindness is a part of a child’s social-emotional wellness. Children begin to learn from the time their infants. Life lessons start through responsiveness to babies’ needs for feeding and soothing. Affection and nurturing our children are the foundation of modeling kindness and building resilience.
The benefits of being kind also extend to education. Although kindness can’t be tested for, it does contribute to a positive interactive learning environment and empowers kids to be more self-confident and helpful to others. Who wouldn’t want those benefits?
Sesame Street provides nice examples like the one below on how we can help teach our kids the importance of kindness.
Source: Sesame Street YouTube
Resources on kindness: