The words we choose can wield power to harm or nurture. Often children are told to “be” nice from a command rather than a place of learning. What if you’re not feeling nice right then? Maybe you are feeling frustrated and confused. With sadness and embarrassment mixed in. Being follow discount synthroid buy viagra italy cialis de india source link business plan youtube channel organic chemistry lab report get link see url favorite things essay buy cialis with no prescription antibiotics overnight shipping usa propranolol sr or la buy without prescription thesis builder for essay follow site enter order viagra pill click essay editing help dissertation timeline sample see freedom for teenagers essay cialis heart attack risk watch viagra bad for health follow link go to site essay on littering at school nice is nuanced and open for interpretation.

We play a facial expression game in Allies In Action. Students work in groups guessing what feelings they think describe a facial expression. For every expression, there are over a dozen emotions given. Once the emotion is revealed everyone is surprised. In processing the game, students begin to understand how multiple emotions can happen simultaneously. Connecting the dots to their own experiences of feeling confused, lonely, and curious. Or excited, anxious, and confident.

Learning to better understand the complexity of emotions and body language establishes a foundation for healthy relationships. It supports practicing communication skills rooted in empathy. To be able to stop yourself from instantly assuming you know what a person is feeling based on their facial expression can significantly decrease conflict. Man, oh man, could we use more of that today.

For the month of October, Allies In Action will be focusing on language and its impact. Increasing awareness of the impact words have on ourselves and others breaks down barriers of misunderstanding and assumptions.

Last week’s art project Allies created Kindness Flowers. The instructions were to write kind words on each petal. Interestingly, many students struggled to think of a kind word. Why is that?

  • How often are kids complimented with kind words?
  • Is kindness something they have experienced regularly?
  • What is their definition of kindness?

Being curious about how kids think and see the world helps guide their growth and practice of empathy. Pausing to ask clarifying questions supports self-reflection. While empowering kids to offer their experiences and ideas. Play the game of guessing facial expressions over dinner. Ask your child what kind things happened to them during the day. And who were they kind to?

Empathy is taught, nurtured and practiced daily. It’s up to us to create more of what we want in the world. We would love to hear ways you’re increasing kindness and empathy in your classroom, at home or in the community. Please leave a comment!