blog » October 1, 2016 by Christine Jones

How Kindness Can Change Everything With Psychologist Lynne Kenney! by Christine Jones

7 years ago
How Kindness Can Change Everything With Psychologist Lynne Kenney!

We have many hopes for our children. We hope they will live with passion, learn with enthusiasm and develop healthy social relationships. We teach our children values, manners and how to behave. Yet, in real life, it's not always rosy. When kids get intense, break the rules or don't live up to our expectations what do we bring them back to? The research tells us to bring them back to kindness. 30Seconds contributor and Harvard-trained psychologist Lynne Kenney joined us this week to talk about kindness. We'll kindly share her wisdom with you!

Q. Why do we talk about kindness with our kids?

  • We talk about kindness, because our children learn how to behave from us.
  • We talk about kindness, because our children need to know what we value as a family.
  • We talk about kindness, because our kids need a True North, the place they aim for when they need guidance.
  • We talk about kindness, because we want our children to know we are kind, empathic and caring with others.

Q: Instead of simply expecting our kids to be kind, HOW do we teach kindness?

  • Talk with your children about what kindness is, what does kindness mean to them?
  • Talk with your children about what kindness looks like when they see it.
  • Talk with your children about what kindness sounds like when they hear it.
  • Talk with your children about how kindness feels.
  • Talk with your children about a time when someone was kind to them, make it personal and relatable.

Q: What does it mean to be kind and why is it so important?

  • Kindness and empathy are at the root of healthy social behavior. When people are kind they behave better.
  • Children are looking for connectedness, kindness helps them feel safer and more secure.
  • Coping with social challenges is more effective when you do it kindly.
  • Research shows that social-emotional skills are what lead to the most academic and financial success in adulthood.

Q: How can kindness improve your family relationships?

  • When you create a culture of kindness, your children know what to expect, how to behave.
  • Focusing on how to use kind words, thoughts plus actions, guides you to be respectful together.
  • Kindness is a healthy foundation for your family, it brings everyone closer.
  • Kindness is like a safety button, the new EASY button. Not sure what to say or do? Just be kind.

Q: What are the likely outcomes of bringing kind words, thoughts and actions front of mind?

  • A family that is more peaceful and calm.
  • Children who fight less because the culture and expectations are clear and fair.
  • Children who remind one another, “Hey, we agreed to be kind.”
  • Parents who work toward one common goal: kindness.

Q: How are kindness and empathy different?

Empathy is standing in another person’s shoes, being in the feelings with them. Kindness is an expression of caring in words, thoughts or actions. Both skills are super important, they complement each other.I love to teach children about the FAB 4 – humility, respect, empathy and kindness.

Q: Where does self-compassion come in?

We think of kindness toward others, yet we also teach children to be kind to themselves. We call kindness toward self – self-compassion. Self-compassion is honoring yourself, being true to yourself and being supportive, not self-critical. Many of us think negatively about ourselves, we shift that mindset, toward caring for self. We make the shift toward self-compassion by teaching children to see their strengths with honor yet humility.

Q: In your work, you teach social-emotional plus cognitive skills. How are they related?

To be a prosocial human being you need both good cognitive and emotional skills. When you teach children new ways to think, speak and act, they are empowered to learn and behave better. How we feel, what we think and how we “are” in the world can be less of a mystery when we teach social skills. Having good social-emotional plus thinking skills reduces stress and increases competence, leading to better outcomes for kids

Be sure to follow @drlynnekenneylike her on Facebook, visit and visit her 30Seconds page!

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Elisa Schmitz
So excited about our chat with Dr. Lynne Kenney! Such an important topic, and can't wait to learn from her, thanks!
Christine Jones
This is going to be a great chat on such an important topic!
Kelli Porcaro
Looking forward to this topic!! Love all the 30 Second Mom Twitter Chats!!
Dr. Lynne Kenney
Excited to see you all in an hour. Let's ring in the Sounds of Kindness everywhere!
Toni B
Sounds like a GREAT CHAT ...30 secondmom knows how to pick the BEST GUESTS! :)
Nicole DeAvilla
Nice time as always! xo
Mei Marcie
Thanks Elisa All 30SecondMom! Great way to start my morning remembering kindness!

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