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.
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.
You'll find ideas below and on our newly launched Shop Kind page.
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.
Of course good manners matter. However, kindness goes much deeper – and is ultimately more significant – than things like writing thank-you notes or keeping elbows off the table.
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.
According to researchers, the number of students who cheat at school has risen dramatically in the last 50 years. One survey found that an astounding 95% of high school students admitted to some kind of cheating. Here are tips to help keep your children focused on integrity and combat the pressure to achieve at any cost.
Making service a group endeavor not only means more fun, but it "puts kindness on the calendar" so doing good is more likely to become part of your routine. No need to start big. Make your first community effort bite-sized, and see how it goes. Then, if it works for everyone, plan to spend more regular time with family, friends and neighbors serving others. Here are a few ideas for getting started.
Studies increasingly suggest that if you want your child to be successful (whether defined as happiness, academic achievement, good health, or social connections), practicing kindness and doing for others should be high on your family's to-do list. Read on to see why.
Although all gender stereotypes are becoming less rigid, girls are given more flexibility than boys. The typically "feminine" traits of compassion and kindness are critical to the healthy development ofall our children. Here are ways to assure that your boys receive those essential lessons in empathy as they grow toward being caring, compassionate, charitable men.
You place a high value on caring and compassion. But are your kids getting the message? ...Researchers found that most children in middle school and high school value personal success (achievement and happiness) over concern for others, and they say their parents and teachers do, too.
Giving Circles make for fun and effective philanthropy, whether you have $5 or $500 to give. The idea is that individuals pool funds, then decide as a group where to donate. By creating a Family Giving Circle, you can use this same concept to teach your children about charitable giving. They'll love having a big say in donation decisions and will learn firsthand about this crucial way of sharing.