By Esther Wojcicki (brief excerpts, full article here)

Parents constantly ask me for advice. Through my decades of experience as a mother, grandmother and educator, I’ve identified several fundamental values that help our kids achieve success.

One of these values is kindness, and it’s one that some parents fail to teach their kids.

Teach your kids to care

All of this influenced my daughters, not because I lectured to them about the importance of serving the community — but because I truly cared.

I tried to show them through my actions what they could achieve. I didn’t realize at the time the profound impact it has on children’s well-being, which has been confirmed by a number of interesting studies.

The importance of community

Teenagers who volunteer with younger children experience both decreased negative moods and cardiovascular risk, according to a 2013 study. Another study, from 2016, found that teenagers who performed volunteer work were significantly less likely to engage in illegal behaviors and also had fewer convictions and arrests between the ages of 24 and 34.

But how many of us think about this when it comes to parenting? How many of us take up causes and show our kids, through our own behavior, how to fight for our communities? How many children feel empowered to take on the biggest challenges of our time and find a way to contribute?

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