Art offers powerful opportunities to express our common humanity, challenge assumptions, spark conversation, connect diverse people, inspire wonder, imagine new solutions, and promote action for positive change. Music, dance, the visual arts, film, theater, and writing can also inspire empathy, which is why they have always played a role in social justice movements; art shifts the way people think about the world.
We implore our kids to study hard, to get good grades – and we spend considerable time and money to assure they're enjoying their lives. But we don't talk nearly as much about what caring and compassion mean to us – or help them strengthen those empathy muscles by performing acts of kindness and service with them. Luckily, with a few simple changes, your family can help make this school year one that is focused not just on academics, but also on concern for others.
Children as young as four feel better when they receive a sincere apology from a playmate after being hurt. The key word: sincere. Coercing children into offering apologies fails to comfort the victim -- and the wrongdoer learns little more than how to feign remorse. Here are a few tips for getting beyond the begrudging "I'm sorry." This approach can cultivate empathy, help children learn to manage emotions, and improve behavior.
Think of all the ways our homes reflect consumer culture: overflowing toy boxes, jam-packed drawers, gadget-filled garages. Unfortunately, too much focus on material possessions damages our well-being – and that of our children. … The message being delivered to our kids is that consumer goods bring happiness. As parents, we have the power to counter and control this. Here's how…
With each dire news story about the planet's future, that topic may seem too scary or complicated to discuss. Still, most parents think it's important to inform their children about this critical issue. Even if want to shield them, we're aware they're likely to hear about it from other (possibly less reliable) sources. So how do we help kids understand the science – and become empowered to make a difference – while making sure they feel safe and secure? Below are five action steps to get you started.
Studies show that volunteering leads to greater life satisfaction; performing acts of kindness makes people happier and more socially comfortable; and helping others boosts daily well-being. If your child tends to be anxious, you can't make it magically go away, but you can offer tools to manage their discomfort, and strategies to help them cope.
Although children - like adults - instinctively sort the world into "like me" and "not like me" groups, it is possible to expand their understanding of who is in their "like me" circles and to build respect and appreciation for those who are in their "unlike me" circles.
Hate the commercialism of Valentine's Day but want to embrace messages of love, kindness, and generosity? We've got simple ideas to make this day that celebrates love more special than ever.
We want to remind you of some DGT initiatives we were particularly proud to launch -- and that will surely gather steam in the coming year. From additional big-hearted resources to our new Just Be Kind program to our new Festival of Giving event, DGT continued to bring kindness and giving to life in 2018.
Most of us wish for a kinder world. At Doing Good Together™, we believe that this begins with children. We believe that raising children to care about others and the common good is an imperative -- and the most likely way to heal our planet in the years to come. With this in mind, we offer a few tips to satisfy everyone's wishes for happier children, more connected families, and a better world.
If all the toy ads, over-the-top decorations (starting in October!), and incessant credit card use are bringing on the holiday blues, try creating some new holiday memories that are fueled by compassion, not commercialism. These simple traditions will not only let you share important values with your children, they will also lift your spirits. It's guaranteed: your kids will treasure these memories long after their once-coveted toys are broken or forgotten.
Offering children an allowance provides the opportunity to have ongoing conversations about important financial literacy skills. And that's critical. According to researchers, three out of four young people cannot answer basic financial questions. In addition, dealing with small amounts of money when they're young allows children to make mistakes and learn from them, before poor financial decisions have serious consequences
If our democracy is to thrive, we must teach children the skills they need for critical reflection and thoughtful civic engagement. Research tells us that people who have been educated in civics are more likely to vote and be involved in public life. Here are five easy, hands-on ways to help kids begin to see how they can help create the world they want to live in.
Most of us have a love/hate relationship with parenting advice. It can be annoying, contradictory, or even atrocious. But it can also be revelatory and occasionally life-changing. It can make us feel like a failure or provide new, eye-opening possibilities for responding to our parenting challenges.
Strong, nurturing communities help children thrive and succeed. They give kids a sense of belonging, an opportunity for new friendships, and practice in getting along with others. Strong communities give kids other adults to seek out when they need help and provide a lifelong network of support. Use the summer months to create or reinforce that all-important village for your family by connecting anew with folks in your local community. Your efforts will build support and make us all feel less alone.
If we believe that the challenges we face can be overcome (remembering how many have been overcome in the past), we are motivated to work harder. So even as we discuss the world's difficulties with our children, let's make an effort to share news of our progress, too. It will inspire kids to fight to make a difference for the planet and its people.
Myths and stereotypes about groups of people can be enormously damaging — both to individuals and to society. They can make us wary of others, and cause us to make inaccurate and destructive judgments about people's capabilities. If we are stereotyped, it can undermine our belief in ourselves. Here are a few of those damaging (and erroneous) assumptions -- with tips on how to provide children with a counter narrative.
Teaching our children to care for the earth is integral to teaching compassion. And as future generations work to combat climate change, the planet's health will be front and center in our children's lives. How to get started? We offer some small, fun ways your family can learn to become earth advocates.
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.