Parents want to raise good kids, for them to be caring, understanding, polite, and ethical people. But our kiddos can’t do it without our help and guidance. So, where do we start? These guidelines from human development researchers at Harvard can help us raise caring kids.
Spend time with your kids regularly and engage in meaningful conversation - Kids learn love and respect when they’re treated that way. Give your little ones a caring and loving example to follow by showing affection, taking a genuine interest in their lives and supporting them endlessly.
Be a solid role model and a strong mentor - Kids will respect what you tell them to do when they see you doing it, too, so practice the values you’re preaching and they’ll pick up on the right way to act.
Send clear messages and prioritize being kind - Hold your kids to high ethical expectations, not just at home, but at school and in the community. Encourage them to think about how others will be affected by their actions.
Give them opportunities to be caring and show gratitude - 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.
Help them “zoom out” to understand hardships others face - Expand your kids’ circle by talking about other communities and the different challenges they deal with. Encourage them to listen to others who may be different and to show compassion.
Provide opportunities to take action, join causes, and do for others - If they like animals, encourage them to volunteer at a shelter.
Help kids identify feelings and resolve conflicts with self-control - Encourage them to talk about their feelings and give them the tools to manage them, like taking deep breaths until they’re calm, and help them learn to resolve issues while understanding others’ feelings.