Friday, June 19, 2015

Harvard Psychologists Give Their Six Tips to Raising Kind Children

A group of psychologists at Harvard recently did a study to examine how parents can raise kind and “good” children in the madness of modern day society. People who are raising children today experience many criticisms and conclusions made by others of how technology and social media is ruining children and parents are constantly feeling like they need to change their strategies and reshape their parenting styles to accommodate the continuous advancements. But to those parents- worry no more! The results of the study have the Harvard psychologists saying that underneath the madness of modern technology, the basics of raising a good, kind, and moral child haven’t really changed. 
In today’s world, parents focus on raising children to find success and achievement as well as personal satisfaction and happiness- but the psychologists conclude that it is still possible to raise children to be goal-oriented while still raising them to be kind and empathetic people using the same strategies parents have been using for generations.

ONCEKids Publishing is run by literacy advocate and Mompreneur Eileen Wacker.  Click here to find her acclaimed books

Their study’s results show that these six “tried-and-true” strategies remain the best ways to raise kind, understanding, and goal-oriented children in the modern world:

1. Spend time hanging out with your kids
The importance of this will never decrease. Spending time with your children and showing them their importance is the foundation that all the rest can build on. Asking children questions about themselves, showing interest and understanding of their world, telling them about your world, and just demonstrating caring is so important to raising children who will do the same for others. 

2. If it matters, say it out loud
The psychologists report, “Even though most parents and caretakers say that their children being caring is a top priority, often children aren’t hearing that message.” Remember that children don’t always pick up on cues and don’t assume they know your expectations and what you think is important. Communicate those things openly and honestly to your children. Make sure you tell them how important kindness, openness, acceptance, and caring is and they will be much more likely to demonstrate those qualities. 

3. Teach your child how to “work it out”
It is important for parents to help guide children and offer advice, without always stepping in to solve their problems for them. Children who learn problem solving and decision making are not only better at solving their own issues, but also helping others solve problems. Encourage children to identify the source of the problem, evaluate the pros and cons, think about how their decision affects others, and move forward with a solution. 

4. Make helpfulness and gratitude routine
According to the Harvard researchers, “Studies show that people who engage in the habit of expressing gratitude are more likely to be helpful, generous, compassionate, and forgiving- and they’re also more likely to be happy and healthy.” Parents can encourage helpfulness and gratitude by asking children to help out siblings, assigning daily or weekly chores, and reminding them to give thanks throughout the day. 

5. Check your child’s destructive emotions
No children are perfect or never experience negative feelings or emotions. The trick is to help children learn to work through those emotions and keep them in check. This can be done by talking to your children and guiding them to a safe and productive conflict resolution. 

6. Show your kids the bigger picture
The researchers report that “almost all children empathize with and care about a small circle of families and friends. The trick is getting them to care about people who are socially, culturally and even geographically outside their circles. You can do this by coaching them to be good listeners, by encouraging them to put themselves in other people’s shoes, and by practicing empathy using teachable moments in the news and entertainment.” 

Read more about Harvard University’s “Making Caring Common Project” here

ONCEKids Publishing is run by literacy advocate and Mompreneur Eileen Wacker.  Click here to find her acclaimed books

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