The Rules of Kindness Project

(3BL Media/Justmeans) –  Teaching children to have compassion, to care and be able to pay it forward in kindness, is just as important as teaching them mathematics and English, as these life skills will help them forge a kinder, more supportive culture. Especially as there has been a worrying rise in recent bullying statistics, showing that it is on the up among young adults, teens and children, most probably due to a cyber bullying. Working to be part of a solution to this growing trend, generationOn, the youth service division of Points of Light, and Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) have launched a new campaign encouraging both children and teens in the US to create, share and act upon their own ‘Rules of Kindness’; an initiative designed to build a culture of caring and empathy among today’s youth.

From now until 17 October, teens, teachers, parents and youth leaders can sign up and enter their own ‘Rules of Kindness’, and see what others are doing with putting their ‘Rules’ into action. The website features tools and resources for parents and teachers; it’s designed to make it easy for young people everywhere to get involved. On the site there is a list of service project ideas, a toolkit developed in partnership with Ashoka, and an activity created in partnership with pediatric psychologist Dr. Lynne Kenney to support youth in developing empathy.

There are some wonderful actions registered on the site already, with one story from the Boys & Girls Club of Martin County, Indianatown, Florida where the kindness rules were used to develop their volunteering plans for this school year. They have undertaken a host of ‘kindness activities,’ from volunteering with Habitat for Humanity to their soccer club cleaning up their local field, from organising a day where they taught 2nd grade children why being ‘kind was cool’ to adopting a monthly road clean up. They are also implementing different anti-bullying activities to help members of all ages to help spread the message that everyone should be a friend to those in need.

As a founding partner of generationOn, Hasbro recognises the importance of developing compassion in youngsters and believes service helps develop these skills. Hasbro’s support of the ‘Rules of Kindness campaign’ is part of its larger philanthropic focus on developing empathy and kindness. Research shows that kindness benefits our physical and mental health, and by recognising kindness in others, it increases a person's happiness and satisfaction.

The challenges of daily life require advanced kindness skills. By focusing on kindness and being intentional in our personal interactions, we can improve our ability to connect. This new campaign helps to create an important conversation among kids and adults about how they want to treat each other, what kindness means to them and crucially, how to turn empathy into action, hopefully creating ripples of change.

Photo Credit: Rules of Kindness/Newport Beach CA