An article from the Washington Post reported on a study that determined 5 ways parents can help their child to be nice to others. From this study 80% of the children stated their parents were more concerned about their child’s achievement or happiness than their concern for others. The researchers said, “Children are not born simply good or bad and we should never give up on them. They need adults who will help them become caring, respectful, and responsible for their communities at every stage of their childhood.”
Here are the 5 strategies to raise moral, caring children:
- Make caring for others a priority. “Children need to learn to balance their needs with the needs of others.”
- Provide opportunities for children to practice caring and gratitude. This will allow children to develop the skills and habits of caring and gratitude. Research has found “that people who are in the habit of expressing gratitude are more likely to be helpful, generous, compassionate, and forgiving…They’re also more likely to be happy and healthy.”
- Expand your child’s circle of concern. Children have a small group of individuals that they care about. Help them see others they come in contact with that they can also care for.
- Be a strong moral role model and mentor. Children learn by example and parents are the example children follow most closely. Be a good example by being honest and fair, but also acknowledge the times we make mistakes.
- Guide children in managing destructive feelings. To be able to care for others, children need to learn to cope with feelings of anger, shame, and envy in positive ways. One way children can learn to cope with negative emotions is to take a deep breath through the nose, exhale through the mouth, and count to five.
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