7 reasons why kindness must be taught in school

Apr 9, 2019 by

Ines Marinho

School always had an imperative role in society. Not so further from when they are born, human beings start to go to daycares, kindergartens and then schools. Education starts at home, with the parental example. However, most of it will develop in schools, with teachers, educators, and even social groups. Often, the concept of school is associated with the theoretical learning of several subjects, such as languages, math’s, sciences, etc. Nevertheless, school is an institution that has a much more important role in individuals’ lives, besides the teaching of theoretical matters or sports.

While children are improving their skills, growing up and learning new perspectives, they are also forming their personality as future grown-ups and social beings. Due to this reason, it should be a concern in each institution to learn more than it is expected or meant to be. Altruism, kindness, and solidarity are values that must be introduced in schools teaching programs. Not the concepts of it but the through roles and examples that inspire the students and makes them understand the world as it is.

Scientific researches have shown that kindness has a great gain of physical and emotional benefits. The behaviors of kindness change the brain by the experience of it and turn the youngsters healthier and good in expressing emotions. The theory of teaching kindness at schools is supported by a large number of benefits it has for personal development.

  1. Children are happier

The good feeling we experience as kids is produced by endorphins that activate areas of the brain that are connected with pleasure, social connection and trust. It is scientifically proven that these feelings of joyousness are contagious and encourage more kind behaviors, to the person that is already practicing kindness or to the one who receives it.

  1. Improved health and less stress

Being kind also has some other effects on our brains. The action taken from it triggers the oxytocin hormone, which has a number of physical and mental health benefits as it can significantly increase a person’s level of happiness and reduce stress. Additionally, recent studies show that being kind plays a significant role in the cardiovascular system, helping protect the heart by lowering blood pressure and mitigating inflammations.

  1. Increased peer acceptance

Forming meaningful connections with one another is also another benefit of being kind. Happy children enjoy greater peer acceptance because they are well-liked and have better mental health conditions by the practice of caring.

  1. Increased feeling of gratitude

When children are part of missions that allow helping others, either the less fortunate, either the ones in need, it provides them the sense of perspective that support is a great gift. Helping others, no matter the situations, makes children understand and appreciate the good things in their lives.

  1. A greater sense of belonging and self-esteem

Scientific results are clear when it comes to showing that humans release a huge number of endorphins when they do some good actions. These chemical reactions arouse the sense of pride, wellbeing and enrich the sense of belonging. Small or bigger acts of kindness increase our energy, making us feel optimist and self-worth.

  1. Less bullying

Contrarily from previous generations, today’s youngsters are facing a new reality in schools: bullying. Adolescents are victimizing each other at alarming proportions. Among the many cases of bullying around the world, teenagers end up by committing suicide for not being able to handle the social pressure and the physical/psychological violence that is committed towards them. Integrating programs of kindness in schools might be one of the many ways of fighting against these disturbing rates. Teaching it, by not focusing only on the negative actions of bullying, allows the youngsters to create warm and inclusive environments.

  1. Reduced rates of depression and better concentration

The act of being kind and warm to people increases the serotonin level in the brain, which is responsible for learning, memory, mood, sleep, health, and digestion. Kindness is an ingredient that boosts creative thinking and, as a result of it, the results in school are better and more effective. As for the depression rates, they will lower with the good actions exercise, since witnessing, receiving or donating kindness is a “natural antidepressant”, according to some doctors. Educating children to be around animals, to have pets and treat them as family or to practice equestrian sports where they have to groom and take care of horses, will also boost their sense of kindness.

It has become clear that modern societies need to overthink the way they educate the future generations. Schools must encompass more than just academics, for children to grow up happy, confident and emotionally strong. Kindness can be taught, and it is part of every home, school and society education.

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