Wednesday, January 01 2014 10:00

Sprout Kindness Crew: Learning & Growing - Resetting and Refocusing to Teach Kids Kindness in the New Year

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Originally Posted at SproutOnline on 01/01/2014. Rescued via Internet Archive on 10/26/2015

I've never been one to put much stock into "New Year's Resolutions," as they always seem to be cliche promises that are made simply to be made, and then eventually, to be forgotten more so than broken.

1535568 568592143218916 1304757149 nAs a parent, my outlook has changed a bit in that a New Year is a chance to reset and refocus rather than to make a simple "resolution." So often, the course of time can gunk up the lens of life, and a new calendar year is the right time to wipe it clean and polish it up, allowing parents and children to see things with greater clarity and to spend some time establishing or reinforcing goals.

While my youngest is just hitting the 19-month mark, my oldest Sproutlet is four (like Caillou!), and we're kicking off 2014 by reinforcing kindness, which is something that needs constant adjustment and fine-tuning due to the many factors (good and... not so good) that can influence a little one in Pre-K. As a part of this, I'm spending time explaining and emphasizing the "Five Pillars" of Sprout's Kindness Counts initiative:

  • -Be Kind to All
  • -Be Kind to Yourself
  • -Be Kind to Others
  • -Be Kind to the Earth
  • -Be Kind to Animals

The exact specifics of those pillars and what they mean might be varied, or even a bit different for every family, but the overall goal is the same—to teach kids that "small acts matter big." It's those simple actions, like making sure that the right items make it into the recycle bin each day, or saying "hello" to our neighbors in passing, that all add up to help make the world a better place. As the New Year begins in your home, consider taking a few moments to discuss the five pillars with your Sproutlet. They're a great conversation starters.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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