With all the emphasis on academic performance now being placed on young people, it can be easy for emotional learning to fall by the wayside. We might, if prompted, agree that we want our kids (or students, or the kids we work with) to be kind, but how much action do we take to make it happen?

If it’s been a while since you’ve done something concrete to help a young person become kinder, this list makes it super easy. Some of the tips are things you’d expect, like volunteering and celebrating acts of kindness. These are the ones that either directly model the behaviour we want to see in young people, or let them know how appreciated it is when they do so spontaneously.

Then there are the tips that make room for kindness, like setting limits on screen time and building some shared physical activity into a young person’s routine. These not only ensure that a young person’s own wellbeing is easier to manage, they also put them in a positive frame of mind and stop them from getting too self-involved. Steps like this lay the groundwork on which kindness can be built.

And finally, there are the tips that develop a young person’s capacity for kindness, like reading good books and sharing good news stories. Reading generally builds empathy and compassion for others, whereas hearing good news reminds us of how much positivity exists in the world, especially when the media overwhelmingly focuses on the negative.

Of course, you don’t have to take on all the advice listed, but finding what does work for your kids and devoting even half an hour each day to kindness can have a huge positive impact on their outlook.

– Sarah Aadland

Read the full article: How to raise kind kids: 9 family routines to put into practice

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