Over the past two decades, researchers have expanded our understanding of the keys to developing character strengths such as forgiveness, generosity, gratitude, and honesty in our children—to help parents raise children who are supportive of others and committed to something bigger than themselves.
In order to help bridge the gap between research and the daily lives of parents, the Greater Good Science Center launched an initiative to help parents raise kids of high character who treat others with compassion and respect.
With support from the John Templeton Foundation, in July of 2017 the GGSC launched a new initiative, Raising Caring, Courageous Kids, to help parents raise kids committed to the well-being of others. This initiative has two major components for the public.
1. Grants to support innovation in community-based parenting programs. The GGSC provided a total of $1 million in grant funding to 16 community-based organizations—schools, houses of worship, community centers—that have strong connections to parents of school-age children. Their programs help parents nurture strengths like generosity, gratitude, and forgiveness in their kids. The GGSC and a team of scientific advisors have helped these organizations identify research relevant to their programs, translate this research into lessons for parents, and determine how to better evaluate the success of their work.
2. Multimedia resources directly for parents. Building on its strong track record, the GGSC has been developing a range of new resources for raising caring, courageous kids, widely sharing with parents the top research and best practices. This includes publishing dozens of new articles for parents on Greater Good, creating several practical exercises for parents to try with their kids on Greater Good in Action, and releasing a series of short videos designed for mobile devices and social media to reach busy parents on the go. These resources identify and report on cutting-edge research findings. We also plan to distill some of the key lessons learned from the parenting programs that receive grants through the initiative.