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Teaching kindness is vital to developing children’s social and emotional faculties.

It may seem a little cliché, but altruism and empathy come with a raft of emotional, physical, and mental health benefits that will set your students up for a fulfilling life full of strong friendships. If you need a few tips on teaching kindness to children, this article from PBS offers a range of excellent lesson ideas that will help nurture a warm and caring environment in your classroom.

Furthermore, if you need any more convincing as to why you should start focussing on spreading kindness in your classroom, we’ve put together 16 compelling reasons detailing why it is so important:

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1. Kind children are happy children

Acts of kindness are associated with the brain’s production of endorphins. In this way, kindness can help promote feelings of, for example:

  • Pleasure
  • Trust
  • Social bonding
  • Empathy

As well as helping children to make friends and get along well, this will make your job much easier by reducing classroom conflicts!

2. Kindness improves health

According to numerous scientific studies, kindness can trigger the release of a hormone known as oxytocin that can help to reduce stress and has even been shown to play a role in lowering blood pressure and protecting the heart. Watch this fascinating video to learn more about why kindness is good for you.

3. Improve the self-esteem of your students

Even minor acts of kindness can improve one’s sense of self-worth and well-being by releasing endorphins and the feeling of pride that comes with helping others.

4. Help students to form meaningful connections with others

Displaying acts of kindness can boost one’s ability to connect with peers. Indeed, it should be no surprise that kind children are often well-liked and tend to make long-lasting friendships with classmates that provide a sense of security and comfort.

5. Better concentration in class

Kids with kind, positive outlooks tend to boast strong attention spans and are often more willing to learn than those that have not been taught kindness.

6. Enhance memory and learning skills

The increased serotonin levels released through being kind can enhance a child’s learning capabilities and ability to retain information.

7. Reduce levels of bullying

Teaching kindness is a great way to stop bullying before it even starts. This is because it improves children’s capacity for empathy.

8. Improve your well-being as a teacher

Teaching a classroom full of kind and considerate students can help improve the well-being of teachers by reducing conflict levels and mitigating the need for disciplinary measures.

9. Teaching kindness is beneficial for the society in general

Students who learn about kindness from a young age will often apply what they have learned daily. They may be more inclined to help elderly people lift their shopping, for example, and will offer numerous benefits to wider society.

10. Increase feelings of gratitude

Teaching kindness is a great way to encourage children to be thankful for what they have, reducing materialistic desires and increasing their propensity for helping others.

11. Improve feelings of belonging

Feeling that you belong with your peers is fundamental to building healthy self-esteem. Kindness is an effective way of nurturing feelings of belonging.

12. Kindness is a natural anti-depressant

Kindness is strongly linked to the release of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that serves as a natural anti-depressant – great if one of your students is struggling with depressive feelings.

13. Teaches kids to see beyond grades

While attaining high grades is important, so is building a healthy social-emotional life. Teaching the importance of kindness helps kids to look beyond academic achievement alone.

14. Remember that you are building the leaders of tomorrow

Empathy and kindness are traits that are fundamental to great leadership. Remember that your students may very well be the leaders of tomorrow and will benefit from a strong social-emotional education.

15. Kindness teaches tolerance

Teaching kids to be kind also teaches them to be accepting of those that are different from them.

16. Teaching kindness improves home lives

Teaching kindness can help parents struggling with disciplining their children. Indeed, it can teach kids to reflect on bad behavior at home and reduce conflict with their parents.