Exercise Your ‘Kindness Muscles’
Fitness center operator Planet Fitness wants everyone to flex their ‘kindness muscles’.
The company said that consistent, regular acts of kindness are needed now more than ever. According to a national study commissioned by Planet Fitness, fewer Americans are expressing their kindness this year than in 2018.
Everyday kind gestures that are on the decline include:
- Smiling (10 percent decrease);
- Paying compliments (10 percent decrease);
- Being appreciative (nine percent decrease); and
- Doing a good deed for someone (eight percent decrease)
In partnership with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, a nonprofit bullying prevention organization, Planet Fitness shares five tips for raising consistently kind kids:
Model Kind Behavior. Being a copycat can be a good thing. Your kids are always watching and learning from what you do, so remember to exhibit kindness regularly with everyone in your daily life, from their teachers at school to wait staff in a restaurant or your postal worker. Even when you’re tired, stressed or distracted, taking a moment to remember that the behavior you model will be the behavior they mimic makes all the difference.
Watch and Learn. Whether watching a movie together or in line at the grocery store, your child will have many opportunities to observe examples of both kind and unkind behaviors. Encourage your child to consider how observed interactions impact those involved, whether positively or negatively. These interactions can serve as teachable moments for the future.
Caught Being Kind. Kids hear all the time about what they shouldn’t be doing, but what about what they should be doing? Reinforce kind behavior by acknowledging specific examples and encouraging a dialogue around what they did and why it matters, such as, “I am proud that you included the new student from school today at the playground. How do you think it made them feel?”
Exercise Kindness Daily. Learning to be kind is just like learning to play a sport or an instrument. Make kindness a daily ritual by reflecting on something kind that you witnessed and discussing as a family to help your kids build muscle memory and make caring second nature.
Imagine If… Ask your children to consider the perspectives of people they don’t usually talk to, such as a new student at school, a student who looks different than them or a student who has been teased. Ask, “How would you feel if…” to help your child see how actions impact others.
For more information on Planet Fitness visit PlanetFitness.com.