Most parents want their children to be kind to others. Recent research has shown that there are benefits to being kind that parents may not have anticipated.

Researchers conducted a longitudinal experiment in 19 classrooms in Vancouver, BC. 9-11 year-olds were divided into 2 groups. One group was instructed to perform 3 acts of kindness per week for 4 weeks and log those each week. The other group was told to visit 3 places each week for 4 weeks and log those. Before and after the assignment each student filled out a survey.  This tool measured life satisfaction. Both groups experienced improved well-being as indicated by answers on the survey completed after the assignment.

Here’s the surprise!  Those who did acts of kindness had a significant increase in peer acceptance. Peer acceptance is related to a variety of encouraging effects. It can lead to positive academic and social outcomes.  Including reducing the likelihood of being bullied.

Parents can use this information to impact their children. They can encourage intentional acts of kindness, dialoging with their kids about simple things that can be done to help others.

These research findings parallel the Word of God. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

Proverbs 11:17 – Those who are kind benefit themselves…

Kindness counts