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How to raise perfect kids, perfectly

(or at least so they don't end up in jail)

Raising kids to show empathy might be the most important lesson we give as parents. Granted, keep your fingers away from your nose is a big one too, but empathy is at the heart of what it means to be human, as Harvard researchers put it. It’s the foundation of being a good person. Not only does empathy let kids walk in another’s shoes and feel compassion for the challenges they may face, but it also comes with a host of benefits for those who practice it, from improved personal health to healthier relationships with family and friends. It’s even a BIG FACTOR in future success.

But finding opportunities for kids to practice empathy is not always easy. Often, we live in circles where the lives around us look a lot like our own and many of us are fortunate that empty pantries, long hospital stays, an unsafe home, or no home at all are not a part of our daily lives.

Which brings us to Pointpledge. With Pointpledge, athletes and teams raise money for life-changing nonprofits with every POINT, GOAL, TOUCHDOWN, SAVE, ASSIST, HIT, TACKLE, etc. earned in a game or event. It’s a way for young athletes to do good doing something they love.

We hope parents will use Pointpledge as a way to introduce important nonprofits to their kids, and to talk to their kids about empathy and the importance of giving back. We hope that young athletes will feel they're doing something heroic. And we get that heroic may sound like an odd term. After all, they’re not fighting fires (unless, like my kids, they started it first). But, on Pointpledge, young athletes make the effort to help those who need it most, be it patients, families, other kids, animals - lives they don’t know personally, simply because they need it. We're not sure there’s a term more apt than heroic for that.

We want parents to feel empowered too, that they’re taking an active role in helping their kids do good. When kids grow up to be kind and work hard, they’re pretty much set. Sure they need to understand math and how to find shelter and stuff too, but the building blocks for the right life are in place.

And we want it to be fun. We want young athletes to have a ton of fun playing a sport they love, alongside friends they love, with the people they love cheering them on. And to know they're doing a lot of good for those who need it at the same time. Play sports. Change the World!