Quiet Kindness in School: Socially and Emotionally Sophisticated Kindness Flying Beneath the Radar of Parents and Educators

John-Tyler Binfet, Camilla Enns


This paper profiles the different ways in which elementary and middle school students report on their acts of kindness and introduces the concept of quiet kindness, a socially and emotionally sophisticated form of kindness that does not draw attention to the initiator, where the recipient remains potentially unaware of the act, and the kind act is not likely acknowledged or reinforced by external agents. Examples from surveys of over 3,000 Canadian elementary and middle school students help illustrate how children enact kindness in school. The developmental implications of quiet kindness for children are discussed alongside implications for parents and educators.


kindness; children; prosocial behaviour; educators; parents

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v43i2.18576


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Copyright (c) 2018 John-Tyler Binfet, Camilla Enns

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Journal of Childhood Studies is supported by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council