One of my favourite quotes is when the Dalai Lama was asked what his religion was – and he said simply “It is kindness.”
Only kindness will change the world. It’s so important that we teach children to cherish and promote kindness. I have a set of 6 Golden Rules in thousands of schools – all of them are values to live by. However, I see lots of rewards and incentives given to children for working hard (one of the golden rules) I very rarely see any children with rewards for being kind. Circle Time is about putting values into action and children get the opportunity to thank other children for acts of kindness.
Perhaps less well known is that kindness has real benefits for the person who is being kind not just the one who is receiving the kindness. It’s really worth going to the mental health website www.mentalhealth.org.uk – they do brilliant work and are always pulling together great research.
Apparently according to Emory University when you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centres light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed- not the giver. Kindness stimulates the production of serotonin which is a chemical that calms you down and makes you happy.
Interestingly, one of the most important hormones is oxytocin – mainly this comes from touch which during the pandemic is painfully lacking. Oxytocin physically lowers blood pressure and improves our heart health. It increases self-esteem and optimism – but I hadn’t realised that just seeing people be kind i.e. witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin. Isn’t that wonderful!
We have created a bright and colourful poster – 50 Fantastic Caring Acts of Kindness for Primary School Children – you could create an even better one yourselves – listing 50 things that primary children can do to be kind to others. I hope it stimulates lots of chat and you enjoy the ideas.
Jenny has worked with the amazing Barnsole Primary School in Gillingham. They had such a great focus on kindness last year that Jenny wrote a blog all about it – CLICK HERE FOR THIS WONDERFUL CASE STUDY! .
Talking about Kindness … have you seen Jenny’s Online Therapeutic Recovery Resource for Primary Schools and Early Years settings?
‘‘From Lockdown to Listening and Learning‘ is a staff online training package to bring a safe and therapeutic way of listening into schools? Click Here to learn more, read testimonials and find out what the package can bring to your school.
“I think it’s an excellent resource that will really help children and benefit teachers in these strange times. Each child’s experience of lockdown will be significantly different….so these sessions are invaluable to restore some sense of calm and balance for everyone. Children will need to re-connect with each other and learn again how to communicate, co-operate and listen to each other. What better than Quality Circle Time.” Carin Quinn, Healthy Schools Practitioner. Caerphilly County Borough Council
Website Manager’s Notes
- Many of the resources that Jenny has created and are in her webshop have kindness as a key concept at the heart of the resource. Books for Assemblies, Golden Rules Books and Posters, Circle Time books and resources to name but a few.
- To watch Jenny’s session, at the recent Sheffield Recovery Festival, see You Tube Link Here
- Jenny’s own Recovery Resource training package is called ‘From Lockdown to Listening and Learning‘ and it is available to purchase for a whole staff team from this website. There are session plans, staff meetings all focused on the wellbeing of staff and children and helping to get everyone listening and learning. The link for this package, to read testimonials and see the contents list and purchase options, is HERE.
- Jenny is producing online courses and working with Zoom training sessions so if you are interested in remote or online training or conferencing please get in touch.
- Jenny is also starting to work in schools with safe distancing procedures so do get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org