6 Parenting Tips To Raise ‘Good’ Kids
Nowadays, the times are very different than they were before. We can clearly see how advanced we are in comparison to our ancestors. An obvious example is the way our children are growing up.
Those days when the kids were playing outside till the late evening are now in the past. Today, our kids are busy with their smartphones, tablets, computers etc. They spend a lot of time staring at a screen and living in a virtual world.
Even though many contemporary parents find it easier to give their kid a device in order to make them quiet, there is something missing… Professionals from the Harvard University have been analyzing what makes a healthy child nowadays.
Below, we offer a list of study-based parental advice created by psychologists Dr. Deborah Temkin and Michele Borba, and organizations such as Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. (1)
1. Caring and Loving Relationship
Kids learn best about respect and caring when they feel it. When kids feel their parents’ love they become attached, so it is easier for the parents to share them a message and get them understand it, as well as learn from it.
According to psychologists from Harvard, we show love to our kids in different ways: we are taking care of their emotional and physical needs, we make a secure and stable family, we show them affection, we respect their privacy. (2)
Also, we are interested in their lives and we talk about important things as well as we react positively to their efforts and achievements. To do this, the best way is to always make time to spend with your child and do something you both enjoy.
Also, you should have meaningful conversations and talk about each other’s feelings, experiences, and thoughts.
2. Show and Teach Empathy
Teaching our kids about empathy is essential, and again, the best way to do so is to be a role model. Showing empathy toward your kid and others, you teach them to understand how others feel and the way they can communicate.
As parents, we are supposed to teach our kids to see the bigger picture, to care about people who are outside their close circle, like a new student in a classroom. Psychologists say that children learn empathy by watching us how we treat everyone. (3)
They would notice if we treat badly a server in a restaurant or a mail carrier. Anyway, it is positive that they would notice if we act well towards people we do not know.
3. Ethical Role Model and a Mentor
Probably, you are familiar with the saying that kids are like sponges, they absorb everything they see or hear. In fact, they learn ethical values by observing what we do and what others do.
Psychologists from Harvard say that parents need to pay attention how they react and what they show in front of their children. And, since none of us is perfect, we need to acknowledge our mistakes and flaws in order to teach our kids humility, honesty, and self-awareness.
Children see their parents as superheroes, but we need to show them that we humans and we are not perfect.
4. Children Need to Practice Empathy
If you just give your kids examples of empathy, it is not enough. To understand the concept, they need to be included in situations in which they should be empathetic and when they should not.
Psychologists say that children’s empathy is innate, but it needs to be nurtured through life. Practicing empathy on a regular basis helps kids become better at understanding other people. (4)
A way in which you can help your children practice empathy is by discussing ethical dilemmas. But, since they are kids, they cannot be philosophical, so try something simple such as “should I invite the friend to my party if my closest friend does not like them?”
5. Teach Them Self-Control and Managing Feelings
According to psychologists when children do not express empathy it may be because some feeling is preventing them. Negative feelings such as anger, shame, envy etc., frequently block children from caring.
To release the empathy, you need to teach your kids how to manage and control negative feelings, prejudices, and stereotypes. Since negative feelings may stop our kids from showing empathy, we need to teach them how to take control.
In order to do so, you should teach your kids how to identify anger, frustration, sadness etc., and encourage them to talk openly about them to figure out why they are feeling that way.
6. Teach Them to Be Helpful and Grateful
As some studies reveal, people who are grateful are usually helpful, kind, compassionate as well as forgiving, so they are healthier and happier. Well, as parents we need to give our kids chores such as helping around the house, helping their siblings, a classmate etc.
And, researchers suggest that parents should reward only rare acts of kindness.
Raising a healthy and happy child is not an easy task, and it cannot be achieved only by reading an article or a book. It is a continuous and evolving process in which we need to look out.
Even though we are living in the ear of the Internet and it has its advantages, we need to remember that children should spend time in the real world as well.
Also, we should be careful of what our kids see on social networks since we are all aware that via the Internet we have access to an endless and distinct type of content.
We hope that the six tips will help you through the process of raising a good child.