Kindness may be key to happiness for kids
Nice kids are happier, more popular than bullies.
New research indicates that kids who adhere to the old adage, "Do unto others as you would like others to do unto you,” are happier and more popular reports Fox News.
This finding suggests that simple and brief acts of kindness might help reduce bullying, researchers say.
Not only do happy people often do good for others, but being more prosocial increases people's sense of well-being.
Based on this research, scientists carried out what they say was the first long-term experiment examining kindness in more than 400 “tweens” – kids age 9 to 12 – attending Vancouver, Canada, elementary schools.
Half the randomly-selected students were asked by teachers to keep track of pleasant places they visited, such as playgrounds, sporting fields, shopping centers or a friend's house. The other half were asked to perform acts of kindness. "We gave them examples of acts of kindness, but we left it up to the kids to decide what was a kind act," researcher Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, a developmental psychologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, was quoted.
More on MSN Living: 50 worst celebrity hairstyles of all time
After four weeks, both groups said they were happier, but the kids who had performed acts of kindness reported experiencing greater acceptance from their peers.
Recently, news journalist Ann Curry proposed #26acts of kindness in response to the Newtown shooting. The movement went viral as the hashtag “#26acts” trended on Twitter and a "26 Acts of Kindness" Facebook page has exceeded 17,000 likes. From baking treats for a teacher to leaving a bigger tip, this simple idea has sparked good deeds across the nation and even kids are getting in on the do-good act.
More on MSN Living: Worst celeb fashions of the year
According to Schonert-Reichl, bullying often increases in grades 4 and 5. By asking students to briefly and regularly act kindly to those around them, "hopefully we can get kids to get along in the classroom and reduce instances of the bullying and teasing that we see, especially around this age group," Schonert-Reichl was quoted.
Share this post if you encourage your kids to be kind. If your family has participated in the #26acts movements, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Photo: Peter Cade/Getty Images
More from MSN Living:
News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads
Make sure your go-to gadgets are as cute as your style, with these trendy tech finds!
Oh, how the times have changed...
Get ready to hit the mall! Check out the hottest back-to-school trends—and get ready to make a major style statement this year.
Unique, or downright strange?
This is Kevin Droniak and his grandma. They’re besties, they’re awesome and they’re YouTube stars.
It can be difficult to entice little ones to eat anything at all, let alone to devour a healthy plate. But feeding your kids nutritious snacks after school just got way easier, thanks to these adorably clever and cute snack ideas! For more smart and fun ways to get your kids to enjoy healthful and delicious foods, try one of these amazingly artsy lunch ideas.
Through a tonsillectomy all the way to brain surgery, my mother deserves some recognition. She's my spine, my birthday shadow, my BFF, my thunder buddy, so Mommy, thank you.
So bad, yet so good.
My son needs me, as much as yours needs you. Sadly, my son needs me more. He needs someone to have his back, when it seems that the police, the men he'd wave to with excitement as a little boy, see him as a being worthy only of prison or death.
If you know someone who has adopted and have made some of these comments, don't fret... now you know!
"Because you shine from within," I said, touching my finger to her heart. "Not everybody sees it, but I do. I see it. And my job is to protect that light. So when people say mean comments that squelch that light, I want you to tell me. I will protect your light by listening and loving you, my brave, courageous, and unique little firefly."
Studies have shown that it helps, top education officials have recommended it, and now doctors are officially saying the same.