Finding our way to a kinder culture―a culture that starts with our families.
In homes and school communities nationwide, there is re-energized interest in the values of community, compassion, and tolerance, and in finding our way to a kinder culture—a culture that starts with our families. Headlines speak of hate crimes, intolerance, and us-versus-them divisiveness. Recent political events have left many Americans yearning for unity, respect, and compassion in our national discourse. In our schools, bullying continues to be a pervasive problem, and in our homes, ‘screen-time’ poses a constant threat to ‘family time.’ Research shows that connection and social engagement are key to successful, fulfilling lives, and yet we have never been less connected than we are now. Perhaps more than any other group, parents recognize the potential damage of this trend.
Photos by Marcia Ciriello
We are both mental health professionals who have devoted our lives to working with families and children. We are a mom and grandma. We are an aunt and niece team. We share experiences from our work lives and values from our own family. We originally set out to write a book about raising charitable children. Along the way, we realized that being charitable (which we see as helping others) is not just about charity. We have observed that certain characteristics appear to be an integral part of exceptionally charitable people. We believe that with very few exceptions, each of us is born with these characteristics. We can learn to recognize and pay attention to how we incorporate them into our daily life and nurture them in our children. These concepts are vital to living a caring and purposeful life. We hope The Kindness Advantage will help your whole family discover ways to make a positive impact in the world.
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The Kindness Advantage is the perfect book. Building on scientific evidence about developing aspects of kindness, such as empathy, it gives clear, practical advice to parents and suggests engaging activities and stories for children. Nothing could be more important today than increasing compassion and decreasing polarization and acrimony. I am going to give this book to my son who has a young daughter.
The Kindness Advantage by Dale Atkins, PhD, and Amanda Salzhauer, MSW is exactly what we need more of right now. With empowering examples and science-based truths, Dale and Amanda share what it takes to foster kindness, empathy, compassion, and heart in our families. Parents will learn how to take on social questions and connect in a way that will improve the lives of their children and help create a more nurturing world. Highly recommended!
In times of discord and polarization, kindness is a family value that can often be overlooked and underestimated. But, in truth, few parental responsibilities carry more weight -- and bring more joy -- than teaching children the power of flexing their own kindness muscles. Steeped in research and brimming with practical tips, The Kindness Advantage provides parents with a blueprint for nurturing empathy in young children, while offering real-life stories that both instruct and inspire. This is a thoughtful guidebook for parents, caregivers, and any adults looking to help build happiness, raise good citizens, and create harmonious communities.