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.
Emily Post, the queen of etiquette, famously said: "Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use." At their core, manners are simply about caring for others. Teaching good manners requires patience, persistence and practice, but it's worth the effort.
Summer is for family and fun, but that doesn't mean that kindness and service need to take a holiday. These lazy days provide all sorts of opportunities to keep exercising that kindness muscle and remind little ones that there is great joy in giving. These eight activities will help you create a memorable, heart-filled summer.
Life is change, and the key to a fulfilled, meaningful life often lies in our ability to manage change effectively. If we can help our kids learn great transition skills, they’ll have the foundation to meet life with the resilience it demands.
The back-to-school season is a great time to re-orient ourselves to our priorities. Together, let's resolve to make this a big-hearted school year, full of compassion, reflection, and thoughtful acts of kindness.
Here at Doing Good Together, we'd like to suggest one small addition to your family adventure: plan for a few intentional acts of road trip kindness.Let's teach our children that our essential values of compassion and empathy don't take a vacation. Acts of kindness are a natural part of daily life, even on the road.
Send children's art to Color-a-Smile instead of the recycle bin! This wonderful, nonprofit organization accepts all standard-sized kids drawings and sends them on to nursing homes, meals-on-wheels recipients, hospitals, and other individuals in need of a smile.
Both volunteer work and spending time in nature help us feel happier, healthier, and calmer, so why not combine these ideas by participating in community service projects as a family that help our environment? This week's guest post from Happy Science Mom shows us how!