The Kindness Advantage: Cultivating Compassionate And Connected Children
By Dale Atkins, PhD and Amanda Salzhauer, MSW
Greenwich, CT, September 24, 2018 — Kindness leads to compassion and happiness, future success, better relationships, improved self-esteem, and good mental and physical health. And don’t we all want that for our children, our families and our community? The Kindness Advantage: Cultivating Compassionate and Connected Children provides parents with a practical and concrete guide to equip their child with the skills they need to have a positive influence on the world. This book goes well beyond teaching “please” and “thank-you.” It will show parents how to help their child form compassionate habits that will last a lifetime.
The Kindness Advantage is written by mental health professionals Dale Atkins and Amanda Salzhauer. Both experts are available to speak on topics that affect children and families to emphasize how to tap into kindness when dealing with such issues as bullying, school shootings, child welfare, community service, and the intergenerational divide. The Kindness Advantage is for parents who see the need for more civil, respectful, and considerate behavior among children. Research shows that children who are raised in a culture where giving and compassion are valued become happier and more positively engaged with those around them. Some of the characteristics in deeply connected people are empathy, acceptance, and questioning. These and other characteristics are essential to being kind and charitable, and vital to living a purposeful life.
First, The Kindness Advantage helps parents recognize these qualities; next, it shares ways to nurture them in everyday life. Finally, it shows parents how to teach them to their children. In Part Three there are additional chapters to support these efforts, with conversation starters, strategies to help children relax, tips for troubleshooting challenging situations, along with recommendations for adults and children interested in learning more. There are also several blank pages at the end of the book for taking notes, writing questions, and keeping track of resources with the hope that this book with turn into the family’s personal activity workbook. Each fundamental characteristic includes an introduction along with:
1) Text to be read and discussed with the child.
2) Questions to help children connect the concept with their own life experience.
3) Ideas and activities to weave that concept into everyday life.
4) Inspiring real-life stories about children who make a difference.
5) Quotes from children, clergy, and community leaders and others about the values of caring and compassion.
The Kindness Advantage is based on a simple yet powerful premise: that living a compassionate life, one in which kindness is highly valued, is the key to our children’s current and future wellbeing. There are so many ways to create meaningful connections with others. The Kindness Advantage is designed to be used in whatever way works best for families, giving their children the advantage of kindness to last a lifetime.
About the Authors:
Dale V. Atkins, PhD, is a licensed psychologist with more than forty years of experience as a relationship expert focusing on families, wellness, managing stress, and living a balanced, meaningful life. Author of six books and many chapters, articles, and journals for popular and professional audiences, Dale is a featured speaker who leads seminars worldwide on raising financially responsible, and charitable children. Dale is a frequent guest expert in the media and appears regularly on NBC’s TODAY and CNN. Dale has a private psychology practice in New York City. She has two children and six grandchildren, and lives in Connecticut. She can be found on Twitter (@DrDaleAtkins), Facebook, and at www.drdaleatkins.com.
Amanda R. Salzhauer, MSW, has worked as a social worker in clinics and private practice. She has been a member of several nonprofit boards, including Riverdale Neighborhood House and the Board of Overseers for the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact. She has three children and lives in New York City.
The Kindness Advantage: Cultivating Compassionate and Connected Children
By Dale Atkins, PhD and Amanda Salzhauer
Available wherever books are sold or to order from the publisher, contact: (800) 441-5560 or www.hcibooks.com
Release date: September 2018
Suggested Author Interview Questions:
1) Why kindness/What is the Kindness Advantage?
2) What were we seeing that made us want to write the book? Tell us about the journey of writing this book?
3) Talk about your relationship and family background?
4) How do you get kids to be charitable?
5) What are 3 everyday things you can do to help your child become kinder?
6) Why start so early? Where is the evidence for starting early?
7) How do you teach kindness?
8) Why is it important to be kind? Examples of what society looks like when people are not kind.
9) What do you do when your kid is not being kind?
Praise for The Kindness Advantage:
Dr Atkins and Ms. Salzhauer are keenly aware of how we as parents grow, learn and change. They support our deepest intention to support our children to thrive in the world by providing clear and actionable steps to build up this tremendously important capacity. Atkins and Salzhauer offer a map for parents and children to travel together, so that the same daily routine might add a detour or re-route to take the high road. Bravo to Dale Atkins and Amanda Salzhauer for focusing parents around a path to true fulfillment for our children. Enjoy sharing this adventure in kindness with your children!
Lisa Miller, PhD, author of The Spiritual Child; The New Science of Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving: “In this day and age, kindness and connection are especially important. An accessible and informative guide, The Kindness Advantage is a must read for parents of all ages.”
Judson Brewer MD PhD, author of The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love – Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits: “Dale Atkins and Amanda Salzhauer’s book, The Kindness Advantage, can serve as a partial antidote to these turbulent times. They remind us that kindness is both a moral behavior that can improve the status of the world, but also be advantageous to the individual who practices kindness. The book’s blend of significant and relevant issues in psychology, education, and humanism provides a myriad of practical suggestions to help us raise kind children. The book will serve as a resource to parents and educators. By teaching the components underlying kindness children can be provided a framework where we can both teach and weave these crucial lessons into the lives of children.
The section on relaxation, breathing, visualization and mediation is a gift to the children in our lives and ourselves. We cannot impart the lessons of kindness when we ourselves are agitated and distressed by the tumult in our lives and in our worlds. Likewise, children have difficulty being kind when they are in the grip of negative emotions. This section provides children and adults the tools to master negative emotions. We highly recommend this book to be read, saved and used as a long term resource in your child rearing library.”
Norma D. Feshbach, Ph.D. Professor, Chair, Interim Dean Emeritus UCLA, and
Laura E. Feshbach, Ph.D. in Child Clinical Psychology from University of Washington: “The Kindness Advantage is the perfect book. Building on scientific evidence about developing aspects of kindness, such as empathy, it gives clear, practical advice to parents and suggests engaging activities and stories for children. Nothing could be more important today than increasing compassion and decreasing polarization and acrimony. I am going to give this book to my son who has a young daughter.”
Dr. Susan Fuhrman, Ph.D., President Emerita, Teachers College Columbia University: “In times of discord and polarization, kindness is a family value that can often be overlooked and underestimated. But, in truth, few parental responsibilities carry more weight — and bring more joy — than teaching children the power of flexing their own kindness muscles. Steeped in research and brimming with practical tips, The Kindness Advantage provides parents with a blueprint for nurturing empathy in young children, while offering real-life stories that both instruct and inspire. This is a thoughtful guidebook for parents, caregivers, and any adults looking to help build happiness, raise good citizens, and create harmonious communities.”
Myung Lee, Executive Director of Fund for Cities of Service: “The Kindness Advantage … is exactly what we need more of right now. With empowering examples and science-based truths, Dale and Amanda share what it takes to foster kindness, empathy, compassion, and heart in our families. Parents will learn how to take on social questions and connect in a way that will improve the lives of their children and help create a more nurturing world. Highly recommended!”
Amy McCready, Author and Founder, Positive Parenting Solutions: “This enormously insightful book provides an inspiring and fundamental blueprint on how kindness can and should be taught to children. It provides essential ways to have conversations with your children on how to be kind. The Kindness Advantage reinforces how considerate and kind behavior can be life-changing and life lasting for children to help make the world a better place.”
Laura Schroff, #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of An Invisible Thread:
“The Kindness Advantage is the ray of hope that we all need in this harsh, heavy, world. It is a blueprint of how to partner with the next generation to live our inherent values, to tap our organic ability to love, and to create a kinder culture. Many thanks to Dale Atkins and Amanda Salzhauer for bringing this much-needed gift to the world!”
Rev. Susan Sparks, Pastor, Comedian, and Author of Laugh Your Way to Grace: “As a physician who uses mindfulness practices extensively in working with patients, health care professionals, and people dealing with all varieties of stress, I love that this book incorporates those practices into a guide for parents who are teaching their children to be kind. The authors wisely lead with the evidence that kindness leads to greater happiness, meaning, and wellbeing, and then provide a myriad of inspirational examples and ideas for children and parents. Grandparents, who are often crucial inspirational figures in children’s lives, may particularly benefit from ideas for intergenerational collaborations in kindness.”
Patricia A. Bloom, M.D., Certified Teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction;
Clinical Associate Professor of Geriatrics, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY: “With optimism and compassion, The Kindness Advantage offers practical tips and real-world examples parents and educators need to teach empathy, compassion, and kindness to our children. Along the way, it also provides opportunities to reflect on our values and experiences as adults. This book speaks to the innate desire of every child to be good to themselves and those around them. Dale Atkins and Amanda Salzhauer make the case for kindness as the tool to radically transform our children’s lives, and our own.”
Naila Bolus, President & CEO, Jumpstart: “Just like we see in kids who have the empathy advantage, children who are raised with the kindness advantage are happier, connected, compassionate, and will have what they need to become change makers in their world. The Kindness Advantage offers parents the tools to teach these skills and more to their young children. With the extensive examples of activities provided in the The Kindness Advantage, parents can pick and choose what resonates with them to create a personalized approach to bringing kindness into their everyday lives.”
Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World: “It is through kindness that we find inner peace, and understanding of our humanity, our interconnectedness. Thank you Dale Atkins and Amanda Salzhauer for gifting us with The Kindness Advantage, a guide to share this most powerful and important tool with our children.”
Janet Slom, MFA, founder, Mindfulness-Based Self Expression: “The Kindness Advantage provides practical wisdom and good-sense guidance to help you scaffold your child’s journey toward goodness of heart. This book is a gift which has arrived at the perfect time for our world.”
Amishi Jha, Ph.D., Neuroscientist and Researcher: “Before we expect kindness from others, we have to nurture it in ourselves. Thanks to The Kindness Advantage we now have the recipe to raise children that better the world not because of what they have done, but because of who they are. And, in the process, we can learn to become kinder people in an often divisive and complicated world.”