Teaching Laurel empathy has always been very important to us, not only to help curb age appropriate but hurtful behaviors such as biting and hitting, but also simply to help her learn how to be a good friend and family member. And while she has embraced these lessons since toddlerhood (in daycare she always was quick to give a hug or rub a friend’s back if they were sad), we know we’ll need to revisit these themes through her young life. And for parents of tweens, here’s an interesting way to help teach compassion to kids: Generation Cures.
Based in Boston but accessible to anyone online, this free “caring-and-curing” website was created by Children's Hospital Boston and offers educational games, stories, and videos to help teach kids about the importance of caring and compassion. The puzzle-adventure games and animated stories are definitely tween oriented with a science fiction - adventure type look, and are framed on story arcs that convey messages about altruism, community, and science. The behind the scenes videos are directed and produced by kids, and allow a window into the worlds of kids who have been treated successfully at Children’s Hospital. Parents also can sign up for a free account to receive additional features, such as story and game progress tracking, teaching tools, and online community access.
So what’s the catch? There is none whatsoever for usage, though the ultimate hope is that families who enjoy the free content eventually will be inspired to make a gift to benefit pediatric medical research at Children's Hospital. And no doubt any gift made will be given with even more meaningful intention following lessons learned through this entertaining and educational content.