Role of Kindness and Emotional Literacy in Student Development

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Kindness is probably the best of virtues one can possess. It is also a virtue which seems to be rapidly declining in society today. Especially in the tumultuous times that we live in, whether we like it or not, the kids are exposed to progressively harsher messages all around them, from a relatively young age itself. In order to help the students in navigating through a world around them which may be unkind at times, to say the least, both parents as well as the schools should find ways to balance the forces which drag the students down. When teachers and parents make a conscious effort towards inculcating kindness and a feeling of togetherness in the kids, they ensure that the students will grow up to become individuals who can thrive even under unfavorable conditions and will contribute towards building a better, kinder and fairer world. 

Nowadays, the field of education is undergoing rapid changes. Be it the meteoric rise of eLearning or the adoption of new teaching and management tools like LMS advantages of which are multifold, our ways of teaching and learning have shown considerable progress. Not just on the technical side, but the teaching techniques employed by educators have also improved drastically. Even teaching fairly complicated subjects such as Mathematics can be done effectively on online teaching platforms by providing tricky maths puzzles with answers to the students. This progress on the academic front only reinforces the fact that a lot can be done for the mental well being and proper development of the students if we focus equally towards developing kindness and emotional literacy in them. 

Connection Between Emotional Literacy and Kindness

In order to develop their students into kind individuals, educators need to make sure that they attend to their emotional developmental needs. Research has shown that talking to students about their feelings and allowing them the freedom to express their own thoughts and feelings contributes towards the development of generosity and a sense of gratitude in them. Kindness is closely linked with empathy as one needs to be empathetic towards the plight of others before one can exercise kindness in any meaningful manner. As it turns out the biggest driver of empathy is the quality of emotional self-awareness. Therefore, once the students are guided towards increasing their awareness of self and their feelings, they will naturally develop empathy as they will also become more perceptive about the emotions of other people around them and how their actions might affect the emotional response of others. This is essentially what kindness is all about. 

Developing Kindness with Chores-

Kindness can also be developed in the students by engaging them in various tasks, both in and out of the classroom. Especially tasks which are related to the greater good are known to help in the development of the feeling of generosity in individuals. It could be any task as simple as planting a tree, helping the needy, doing community service, helping out their parents in various capacities and much more. It can also be tasks which are helpful for the entire family as it will help the kids in developing a feeling of generosity, togetherness and kindness. While all this might seem fairly obvious to us as adults, we need to remember that the students are at a different stage in their emotional development and the task of developing them into kind and generous human beings will require as much practice if not more, as it will require intellectual understanding on their part. 

Preventing Instances of Bullying Through Kindness-

Developing students to be more kind will also lead to a sharp decline in instances of bullying. Kinder individuals are less likely to participate in bullying themselves and are much more likely to stand up for themselves and others when they witness instances of bullying. Reducing the frequency of bullying in educational institutions is a favorable side-effect of working towards developing kindness and emotional literacy in the students. 

Kindness makes the world go round. It is only through developing kindness and emotional literacy in our students today, that we can hope for a better, sustainable and peaceful world in the future. Parents and educators should make sure that every child gets the required attention towards their emotional development such that they grow up to be kind and helpful human beings.

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