When was the last time a child/young person acted kindly towards you in your role as a professional? I vividly remember an experience I had a few years ago when I had to cancel an appointment with an 11-year-old girl (I was ill that day). The next session she bought me a detailed “get well” drawing which she had obviously spent some time on. It was a lovely gesture which made my day - and I stuck it up on my office wall where it stayed for quite some time. It also told me volumes about this child’s strengths in empathy and emotional connection.
Several studies have found that young people who frequently act kindly towards other people are more likely than others to do well in many life areas. For example a longitudinal study published in 2015 by Jones and colleagues found that children who showed a high level kindness and other prosocial skills when they were 5 years old had better mental health, lower levels of substance use, better relationships with others and better performance in the workplace when assessed nearly 20 years later (and this relationship held true regardless of level of school achievement at aged five).Read More