Experiencing art can make kids kinder and more empathetic, according to a study published in Psychological Science. The study shows that experiencing awe, which can be brought on by viewing art, can make children more generous.
In the study, children who watched awe-inspiring movie clips were more likely to donate items to a food drive for needy families and to donate their museum tickets to a refugee family compared to those who watched joyful or neutral clips. The study suggests that experiencing awe is an aesthetic and moral emotion that can make children more prosocial.
Inc. suggests bringing children to art museums as one way to evoke awe in them:
Parents might not be able to search Netflix for "kids + awe" (though any nature documentary voiced by David Attenborough is never a bad bet). But they can always go to their local art museum to give their kids a guaranteed dose of awe. Even if that's logistically challenging for your family at the moment, other research suggests simply looking for the awe-inspiring in the everyday can increase our perception of awe and its associated benefits.
The bottom line is that nudging your kids to notice and appreciate the greatness and grandeur of the world around them won't just make them more observant and aesthetically appreciative. The latest science shows it will also nudge them to be humble, kind, and caring. And that's for a whole lot of parents, that's the true definition of raising successful kids.