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…
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.
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.
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.
Plenty of experts have written about raising financially literate children, but surprisingly few mention the important role of generosity and sharing. Fortunately, no matter what your family income, it's easy to establish fun, meaningful family habits that teach children about giving.
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.