Kindness Changes the Brain 3/28/18

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Kindness Changes the Brain

Kindness is like a muscle. Use it or lose it. Kindness with strength is one of the greatest things we can nurture in our kids. That means being kind to others, expecting kindness from others, and being kind to themselves.
— Karen Young, Hey Signmund

All across the country, we saw kindness being displayed in many forms this week. As campuses came together, students, teachers, school staff and community members honored, spoke up, and advocated for change. The messages shared were not just about guns and legislation. Underlying speakers’ words were messages about coming and acting together, looking out for each other, showing and raising awareness for mental health needs, and wanting to change conversations about the issues of our day. NPR also had a wonderful piece highlighting the music that was sung during demonstrations, including one created and sung by a Morro Bay teen. It is a nice reminder of how music has and continues to help unite people and heals collective pain. (NPR, March 15, 2018). Music in all its forms and genres helps us tap into our emotions and can inspire us to kindness and meaningful action.

Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate, but we believe the definition is much broader. Kindness implies being accepting, engaged, and connected. We are grateful that our campus was such a place for all participating on Wednesday. While the on-site event was planned by many dedicated people, its success was made possible by the attitudes of all who make up our school community.

As our campus community engages in Kindness Month, we propose engaging our families in kindness this month also. We can choose to adopt the mantra of kindness every day. And, we can practice and encourage random acts of kindness in big and small ways. “Kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness,” Patty O’Grady, PhD, said to Edutopia. “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.”  This month, let’s collectively try to do more of the following:

   Keep an open mind           

smile                 forgive

     practice gratitude listen with your heart

find solutions            hold onto hope

pay it forward    laugh at your mistakes

 connect with others


Kind Kids Are Cool Kids. Making Sure Your Child Isn’t The Bully (Hey Sigmund)

Encouraging Kindness in Kids casual techniques to practice with your kids (GGSC, October 2017)

The Importance of Kindness (Psychology Today, December 2017)

Love SLO: meeting needs, demonstrating kindness, & impacting lives (March 24, 2017)

Kindly celebrating being perfectly imperfect,