Some parents choose not to acknowledge what their children are noticing, wanting to signal that they are "colorblind" or don't "see" disabilities. These parents worry that acknowledging differences will make their children more biased. Research suggests just the opposite, however. If you are silent about differences, children are left to assume that the stereotypical (mis)representations in our culture are accurate.
So how do you discuss human variety, acknowledge discrimination and bias -- and celebrate our commonalities and our differences? Here are some important tips.
The ideas and links below represent some of our favorites among all the unique materials, programs, and activities we're continuously generating to make it fun and easy for parents, youth leaders, and educators to pass along the values of compassion and kindness. Check out our picks below, and be sure to subscribe to our blog, newsletter, and/or volunteer listing service so you can easily find all the good we create in 2018.
Any parent would agree: The top lessons we can teach our kids include generosity, kindness and sharing. Now we have another way for you to share the joy of kindness with your children -- a collection of products that make "giving back" fun.
Feeling gratitude is great medicine. It can inspire optimism, improve health and increase happiness. But according to Adam Grant, author of Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, feelings of gratitude are often fleeting. What's more powerful is actually taking time to help others out. "Gratitude is a temporary emotion," says Grant, "but giving is a lasting value." Here are some ways to move from gratitude to giving this Thanksgiving. Because when we think of ourselves as givers, we are inspired to do more.
Halloween can conjure the same spirit of giving as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Below are six fabulous projects that let your family give back this Halloween. Any one of them can become a new family tradition that puts more meaning – and more funinto your festivities. Plus, your feeling of satisfaction will remain long after your stash of candy corn is gone.
The images of Hurricane Harvey's devastation in Texas and Louisiana are heartbreaking and frightening. But we have also been heartened by the stories of those who have stepped up – even risking their own lives - to rescue their neighbors. There are things your family can do to help, too. Take this opportunity to talk to your children about how much you admire these big-hearted heroes - and how your family might follow their example.
Many parents feel compelled to provide their kids with "ideal" childhoods. They try to create a world in which children are constantly entertained, rescued from unpleasant situations, and handed whatever they want in order to assure their continual happiness.
But children who grow up getting their every desire miss out on the joy of giving, the sense of accomplishment that comes with effort, and the resilience that develops when we are forced to bounce back from disappointments.
This roundup of tips will not only challenge entitlement and nurture compassion, but ultimately also will make our children happier and more successful – and in turn make the world a better place.
We don't want our children to start seeing the world as divided into "givers" and "receivers." To avoid this, remind your children that everyone needs help at times, that all of us have something to offer others – and that the world is simply a better place when we help one another out. These tips can help you raise kind, giving children while avoiding the sense of "rescuing" that can be an unintended consequence of serving others.
Managing screen time is challenging because electronic media can be so alluring -- and even habit forming. We recommend creating a family media plan to help the adults and kids in the house develop a healthy digital diet. Meanwhile, you'll be providing opportunities for critically important (and continuing) conversations with your children about how to handle a technological onslaught that will only grow.
Play is a critical way to acquire knowledge, build imagination, enhance mental and physical health, and practice social skills. Just as important, research indicates that play can help children develop empathy and compassion.
To praise or not to praise? I wouldn't blame parents for being confused. We've been getting lots of messages about praising children, many of them seemingly contradictory. If you don't praise your kids, they'll lack self-esteem!
Studies suggest that curious personalities are associated with humor, playfulness, life satisfaction, good relationships and open-mindedness. Not surprisingly, curiosity also encourages life-long learning. (Some studies even indicate that curiosity, along with hard work, might be as important as intelligence to academic performance.) Another reason to encourage curiosity is that it's deeply intertwined with kindness and empathy. Here are ways to nurture curiosity in your children while teaching them compassion at the same time.
Random acts of kindness can be wonderful...and fun, but DGT's goal is to help families put an intentional, thoughtful and daily focus on compassion and giving. And that's more important than you might think. Harvard researchers found that a large majority of middle and high-school students believe (and are sure their parents and teachers agree) that personal success is more important than being a caring person. Is this really the message we want to convey to our children? You can counter this by sharing the kindness message with your children each day.
All parents want their children to be happy. But too often we misdirect our energies as we try to ensure our children will lead blissful, fulfilled lives. Despite a spate of recent research, it's still not clear what "happiness" is, much less how to guarantee it for ourselves or our kids. Here's what you should and shouldn't do to raise a contented kid.
Kindness and courage are common topics in this newsletter, but failure deserves attention, too. I agree with researchers that accepting failure can lead to growth. And when parents view failure as an opportunity to be embraced rather than something to be avoided, kids will be more willing to take on new challenges and will develop the strength to cope. Here are strategies for helping you and your kids meet any disappointments that come your way.
Young girls are bombarded with media that undermines self-image and self-confidence. How do we balance raising an independent and assertive girl with one who is empathetic and kind? Here are my favorite tips for empowering your daughter to become a compassionate change maker.
While not every family is destined for pet ownership, every family can harness the power of creature-love to inspire compassion and encourage a bond with the animal kingdom. We've gathered our favorite resources to get you started.
Did you know Doing Good Together™ offers everything you need to build a culture of kindness, connection, and shared responsibility in your community? Here we've gathered our most powerful tools to help you inspire a generation of "good guys."
This week we are honored to welcome a guest post by Heather Von St. James. Heather is a 12-year mesothelioma cancer survivor and activist. Heather's experience as a parent and an advocate offers incredible lessons in resilient, big-hearted parenting.
Here's the truth about the holidays. One family alone cannot cancel the chaos. We cannot simplify our way out of the year-end hustle. And we just might need a little help! If you have some spare energy that you didn't have a year or two or twenty ago, reach out to a family you love with gifts that will lighten the worry weight of the holiday season.
In this age of divisiveness, disturbing headlines, and excessive devices, strong communication skills are more important than ever. Let's make time to practice these skills as a family. Here we offer 7 skills your family can begin practicing right now.