The best and most relevant education articles on the Internet. It seems we just can’t get enough of those addictive feel good emotions and with good reason. Scientific studies have shown that kindness has a great number of physical and emotional benefits, and that children require a healthy dose of the warm and fuzzies in order to flourish as health, happy, well-rounded individuals. Patty O’Grady, PhD, is an expert in the area of neuroscience, emotional learning, and positive psychology with special attention to the educational arena. She believes that “kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it. Kindness is an emotion that students feel and empathy is a strength that they share.” A great number of benefits have been reported to support the theory of teaching kindness in schools: 1. Happy Children 2. Increased Peer Acceptance 3. Improved Health and Less Stress 4. Greater Sense of Belonging and Improved Self Esteem 5. Increased Feelings of Gratitude 6. Better Concentration and Improved Results 7. Less Bullying Many traditional anti-bullying programs focus on the negative actions that cause children anxiety and often with little impact. Teaching kindness and compassion in schools, not only fosters the positive behaviour that creates warm and inclusive school environments, but helps children feel that they belong. It’s documented that the effects of bullying can be significantly reduced by integrating kindness based programs in schools. 8. Reduced Depression Maurice Elias, a professor at Rutgers University Psychology Department says that “as a citizen, grandparent, father, and professional, it is clear to me that the mission of schools must include teaching kindness. Without it, communities, families, schools, and classrooms become places of incivility where lasting learning is unlikely to take place. We need to be prepared to teach kindness, because it can be delayed due to maltreatment early in life. It can be smothered under the weight of poverty, and it can be derailed by victimization later in life. Yet despite these and other travails, the receipt of kindness and the ability to show kindness through service are both growth enhancing and soul cleansing. Kindness can be taught, and it is a defining aspect of civilized human life. It belongs in every home, school, neighborhood, and society.” It’s become quite clear that modern education must encompass more than just academics, that in order for children to develop into happy, confident, well-rounded individuals, matters of the heart must be taken seriously and nurtured as a matter of priority.