Over the years things have changed for all of us, causing an array of new habits, behaviors, and opinions on things.
All of these changes have caused a significant effect on today's children. A perfect example of this is how much kids are influenced by technology, and it's overuse in today's society. Technology has become so involved in our day-to-day routines, that it has begun to play a vital role in children's way of thinking and communicating.
Today's parents get to deal with a whole new set of issues that didn't exist in the past. The primary challenge most parents deal with is the massive differences from when they were raised, to now meeting the new needs of their children.
So what exactly is the inside knowledge on how to raise happy, successful and thriving people?
Psychologists at Harvard have been working diligently considering the best things a parent can do to raise children to be ethical, kind and genuinely good people. Their discoveries? As indicated by the researchers at the renowned school, it's the general love and direction of a parent that is the central premise of bringing up a 'good' child. Richard Weissbourd, a Harvard psychologist with the graduate school of education, who runs the Making Caring Common project, aimed to help teach kids to be kind.
Weissbourd and his colleagues have come up with recommendations about how to raise children to become caring, respectful and responsible adults. Why is this important? Because if we want our children to be moral people, then it's up to us to raise them that way.
After reviewing the resulting tips from Harvard's study, these recommendations appear no-brainers. But that doesn't make the researcher's findings less legitimate, or useful. Check out their top tips for yourself!
1) Give your kids a lot of love
This may appear glaringly evident, yet its significance remains. What better approach to teaching children to be loving, kind and sympathetic than to demonstrate to them how great it feels. Treat others as you would like them to treat you have never been so appropriate.
According to the study, getting a parent's love and affection makes kids significantly more prone to form an attachment to their parents. This impacts them to be more open to accepting and understanding of parents values and lessons.
2) Set a good example.
They say imitation is the sincerest type of flattery, and what doesn't attempt to act like their folks? Encourage your children to have great character by demonstrating to them what great character resembles. "Monkey does, what monkey sees."
"It‘s also important for us to recognize what might be getting in the way of our own caring." according to the researchers.
3) Let them interact with others.
"Studies show that people who engage in the habit of expressing gratitude are more likely to be helpful, generous, compassionate and forgiving," So it's important to put your kids in situations where they have the opportunity to interact with their peers to understand kindness and compassion for others, for example at the park, playground, classroom and so on. "They're also more likely to be happy and healthy." states the report.
4) Help them understand their emotions.
Anyone of us can act uncharacteristically when emotional, and kids are no different. It's so important to teach kids how to handle their negative emotions, like anger or envy. "Children need our help learning to cope with feelings in productive ways," the researchers concluded.
5) Try getting your children to be kind to everyone.
From an early age, children need to be aware that their behavior is essential and that they have the power to make a huge difference in someone else's life. It's essential they are taught to show kindness to others, including those they don't know very well. The Harvard psychologists feel that children need to learn to listen. Not only to those close to them but also to take into consideration the views of a broader range of people that they may meet throughout their days.
6) Solve problems, don't ignore them.
The researchers suggest to "try to achieve mutual understanding — listening to and paraphrasing each other's feelings until both people feel understood." They don't want to do the dishes? Have them ask themselves, "why not?" Chances are it's because it's boring or tedious, in which case a dishes dance party is the answer!
7) Spend time with your child/children.
Most good parents spend time with their children anyways and are always there for them when they need them. But listening and initiating conversations helps the parent to establish and strengthen the bond with their child. Doing things together is also necessary to enhance the relationship.