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U.S. Parents and Teachers Agree Kindness is Essential for Success, Sesame Workshop Survey Finds

U.S. Parents and Teachers Agree Kindness is Essential for Success, Sesame Workshop Survey Finds

In coordination with October being National Bullying Prevention Month, a new survey commissioned by the Sesame Workshop provides insight into teacher and parent opinions on both kindness and empathy.

The survey found that while both U.S. teachers and parents agree that kindness is essential for any child’s future success, both worry that the world is an “unkind place for children.”

According to the Sesame Workshop, the survey highlights a growing need and want for social-emotional learning in schools.

"This survey confirms our concerns. It is time to have a national conversation about kindness. We hope that this is a first step towards doing that,” said Sesame Workshop CEO, Jeffrey D. Dunn in a statement.

From a teacher’s standpoint, the survey reveals that most teachers believe kindness isn’t being taught at home.

"Teachers believe parents are not doing enough to cultivate kindness. Less than half of teachers believe that ‘all' or ‘most' parents are raising their children to be respectful, and only about a third believe ‘all' or ‘most' parents are raising children to be empathetic and kind,” said Sesame Workshop.

On the other hand, parents believe, in general, their child is kind and more than half believe their child is kinder than the average child.

”Three-fourths of parents report that they talk to their children at least a few times a week or more about seeing things from other people’s points of view. As a result, nine in ten parents describe their own child as kind, and over half of the parents report that their child is more kind than the average child,” Sesame Workshop said.

Overall, both parents and teachers agree that kindness is more important for children to have than is academic success.

Sesame Workshop says the survey results are indicative of a culture that increasingly needs social and emotional learning resources, offering several suggested resources such as this Kindness Playlist and this list of ways to encourage kindness.

Parents and teachers are encouraged to take the survey themselves and see how they compare to their peers.

Read more about the survey here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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