Raising kind humans
Becoming a parent is undoubtedly one of the most life altering shifts humans go through in life. This is the moment you become more than just you – but you plus one, or two, or however many little humans you decide to create. Caring for another human being is the ultimate act of kindness. But of what importance is it to make teaching kindness a lesson we give our kids? To me, it is the most important thing I can instill in my children.
As a modern parent, we face all sorts of pressures, the pressure to have a successful job, to make a lot of money, to raise athletic kids, to raise brilliant kids, to send them to the best schools, with the best teachers, where they can get the best grades…the list goes on. When my own children were nearing preschool age, I began to feel the pressure to find the best school, and create a busy schedule filled with classes and activities. While I do believe exposing your children to a variety of activities at a young age can be helpful (and fun!), I had to take a step back and re-evaluate what was most important for our family to provide the groundwork on how we wanted to raise our kids. It was at this moment that I told my husband, “I don’t care if our kids are the smartest or most athletic, I just want them to be kind humans.” After that discussion, we felt our values aligned with our goals for our kids and from there, Kindhumans was born.
Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. While kindness can sometimes be perceived as weak or naïve, that is not the case. Being kind often requires strength, courage and maturity. A lot of people want to get ahead and be successful, but to deeply impact people requires a different set of skills. Kindness is one of those skills.
It all starts with being kind. Kindness has the power to multiply and positively affect you and the people around you, which is why it is important to realize the benefits that kindness can produce in our lives. Kindness can increase happiness and promote a healthy heart. It slows down the aging process and improves relationships and connections, which indirectly boosts your health. But perhaps the most profound effect, is that it can provide someone with a sense of pride by acting kindly to others, while having the potential to boost confidence and provoke bliss in those around us! In college, I earned my degree in Psychology, where I studied the effects of kindness. It is deeply linked to happiness and contentment on both a psychological and spiritual level. I’ve seen these effects take shape in my children as they learn to interact with their friends and adults in a kind way.
Children especially need to be marinated in kindness and love. It is through our interactions with them that they learn how to behave and navigate the world. By teaching them kindness and compassion as a pillar to success, we teach our kids the vital skill of happiness. After that, success in other shapes and sizes will follow. So how do we do this? Exemplifying kindness for our kids is the best way for them to adopt the practices themselves. I believe kindness is contagious. When we see others being kind to one another, it inspires us to act that way. Speaking kindly to others, refusing to gossip, opening a door, helping to carry a heavy load are all acts of kindness. Donating clothing and things you don’t need or simply donating your time are all great kid-friendly ideas on how to practice kindness.
We all want our kids to be happy and successful. As we navigate through the world of parenthood, let’s put emphasis on teaching kindness by exemplifying it for our kids. With this motivation we established Kindhumans to support a movement that celebrates kindness as a core value.
Be the one to make someone’s day, be the reason that someone has a smile on their face. Kindness is truly one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. There really is nothing more rewarding.