Kindness is What our Children Need Right Now
Photo: Margo Morrison

With schools now back in session, our children are back online and looking down a path of uncertainty, isolation from friends and possible frustrations. Schools must continue teaching, and remote learning is the solution for keeping children safe, learning and academically engaged during this crisis. While not an ideal scenario for the new school year, this is the reality. Certainly, back-to-school strategies for success will come in handy as the school year progresses. As remote learning enters a second year, what can we do to support our children at this phase in their development and this critical time in our history? Kindness. Yes, kindness is what our children need right now.

It seems so simple and obvious but kindness is a vital ingredient for back to school, and it should be added to the mix this academic year as our children forge on with another year of remote learning.

Kindness is defined as a gesture that is motivated by genuine warms feelings for others. Kindness does not just involve emotions but can be small gestures or acts of kindness that come from a genuine place and a desire to help, show support, compassion or warmth. Kindness is not just an act that loses value after it’s given away; there are benefits too.

Benefits of Kindness

Research has shown that experiencing and showing kindness can:

  • Benefit our mental health and wellbeing
  • Increase feelings of happiness and life satisfaction
  • Improve our mood
  • Increase our feelings of being capable
  • Strengthen our relationships
  • Buffer the negative effects of stress on our health

When you think about it, these are all the things our children need right now. It does not cost anything to be kind, and as the research shows, kindness has benefits for both the person showing kindness and the one receiving it. These are challenging and unprecedented times for everyone, and a little kindness will go a long way.

However, before we can begin to be kind to others, we must start with ourselves. In one research, 48% of participants reported that being kind to themselves had a positive impact on their mental health. Additionally, our capacity to be kind to ourselves helps us to be kind to others. It is like the instructions you get just as the plane is about to take off, “put on your mask first before helping others.”

So, here is a little back to school tip, kindness is what our children need right now.


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