The world can often be harsh, and lucky for us, authors Dale Atkins Ph.D. and Amanda Salzhauer, MSW are giving all families a leg up with tips and ideas for how to be kind in their new book, The Kindness Advantage, Cultivating Compassionate and Connected Children. Based on research, this guide provides ways for adults to nurture kindness in our children, teaching them from a young age to be empathetic, compassionate fulfilled people.
According to authors Atkins and Salzhauer, The 10 Fundamentals of Kindness are:
Acceptance – Commitment – Connection – Empathy – Giving – Interest – Nurturing – Observing – Questioning – (be) Yourself
Each one is described and explained in the book, and applied to real-life situations. Asking our children how they want to be treated leads to a discussion of how to treat others and the book contains a plethora of examples and ideas on how to cultivate kinder children.
I was lucky enough to hear Dr. Dale Atkins speak, and she said, based on research, whether we do an act of kindness, are on the receiving end of an act of kindness, or we merely witness an act of kindness, there are real mental, physical, emotional and spiritual benefits as a result of the increased flow of endorphins. That is great news because collectively we have the opportunity to make the world a kinder place if we all incorporate more kindness into our family life.
Also included in the book are incredibly helpful tools for breathing, visualization, and meditation for children. Recommended books and apps are listed at the back, as well as journal questions and space for answers and personal notes. Charity is good and conversation makes the difference so pick up a copy of The Kindness Advantage to help guide you and your family. It is a perfect gift for everyone in contact with young children… grandparents and teachers too!
About the Authors:
Dale Atkins is a licensed psychologist with more than forty years of experience as a relationship expert focusing on families, wellness, managing stress, and living a balanced, meaningful life.
Author of seven books and many chapters, articles, and journals for popular and professional audiences, Dale is a featured speaker who lectures and leads seminars worldwide, often about raising financially responsible, charitable children. Dale is a frequent guest expert in the media and appears regularly on NBC’s TODAYand CNN. Dale has a private psychology practice in New York City and has been a member of and advisor to several nonprofit boards, including Jumpstart for Young Children, from which she recently retired after serving twenty-two years, since its founding. She has two children and six grandchildren and lives in Connecticut. She can be found on Twitter (@DrDaleAtkins), Facebook, and at drdaleatkins.com.
Amanda Salzhauer has a Master’s degree in social work and has worked as a social worker in clinics and private practice.
She currently serves as secretary of the Horace Mann School board, president of the board of Riverdale Neighborhood House, and sits on the Advisory Council of Child Help Partnership at St John’s University. At Dartmouth College Hillel she helped raise funds for the construction and endowment of the Roth Center for Jewish Life, which is now in its twentieth year. Amanda is an active member of her synagogue, where she developed and instituted the Sharing the Spirit of Shabbat program to give families the opportunity to participate in a community service project. She has three children and lives in the Bronx, New York.