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Sometimes it can feel like our culture is awash in examples of people treating each other badly: Political figures trash-talking each other on live TV is commonplace, and complete strangers leaving hurtful comments on social media is practically a national pastime — which most likely explains why 70 percent of parents worry that the world is an unkind place, according to one national survey commissioned by Sesame Street.

But calls for being good to each other are gaining momentum. Harry Styles croons about the importance of treating others with kindness, lisinopril ww 270 schools around the world are implementing lessons that teach empathy and compassion, and science is increasingly focusing on the benefits of a kinder world.

Ahead of Random Acts of Kindness Week, which runs from February 14-20 this year, here’s some advice for parents on how to encourage good deeds from their children. The first step is understanding that niceness or gestures such as a quick smile or saying hello to a stranger are more of a behavior than a trait. “Being nice means you’re friendly and open, but it doesn’t require any action,” Brooke Jones, vice-president of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making kindness a societal norm, tells SheKnows. In contrast, kindness is about actively practicing compassion, empathy, and generosity. “Kindness requires you to do something, like offer a helping hand, share what you have, or listen to someone’s suffering,” she says.

“Everyone, including children, is innately capable of being kind, but there’s a caveat.”

The good news is that everyone, including children, is innately capable of being kind, but there’s a caveat: Kindness needs to be cultivated for it to flourish. “We’re all born with the potential for both good and evil,” Dr. Lea Lis, a Southampton, New York-based child and adult psychiatrist, tells SheKnows. But it’s the behavior we observe in person, in entertainment, and online as children that shape our understanding of morality and our own conduct. “We are uncivilized people at birth,” she says. And it’s parents, along with the surrounding community, that help us learn to be kind.

Kindness not only makes daily interactions more pleasant and creates deeper connections with others, but it also triggers a host of physical and psychological knock-on effects: It boosts wellbeing by promoting the release of dopamine and oxytocin, which can improve mood, minimize stress, reduce depression, and lower blood pressure. Performing acts of kindness and being altruistic toward others has also been shown to significantly reduce physical pain and make people happier overall.

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