Character Education: How to Raise Kindness

By Kelly Scarola, MS


It is no secret that being a parent today is full of pressure and the tendency to measure our own worth by the perceived success of the “super moms” and “super dads” we see on Facebook and Pinterest. Although I don’t always feed my children organic foods, make my own bread, grow my own veggies or sew their Halloween costumes myself- I know that I am a good parent.

Deep in the heart of my path as a mother lies the drive to raise children who will be successful; success in this sense is not related to wealth- which is often how our society defines success. Rather, the mark of success for my family is being a force for good in the world.

I have an inherent desire to teach my children to help others. I want kindness to be their natural routine. Kindness is taught. Our children do not become what we tell them to be; our children become what we model for them. It is with this notion that Teach Your Children Well was born.

Teach Your Children Well is a group of families on Long Island, New York interested in participating in service projects with their children. It is an ideal way of spending time together while giving back to our community. It fosters kindness and responsible citizenship. It is a method of teaching our children that service is not just something we do once in a while to earn a merit badge or complete an assignment. It is a practice that we consciously choose every-day, and which then becomes second-nature.

Projects that Teach Your Children Well have completed have ranged from collecting, organizing and donating school supplies for homeless children through Operation Backpack-  to donating items needed for the Child Life Program at Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center, and the Ronald McDonald House. Our next project planned is to visit an Assisted Living Facility to bring some joy to the residents.

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