Avoid raising a "little jerk" with this expert's advice

Dr. Deborah Gilboa is here to teach parents how NOT to raise a generation of "little jerks"! Learn more here

Back in March, Dr. Deborah Gilboa, child development expert and pediatrician, hosted a Tedx talk at Carnegie Mellon University. The talk, named “The Expectation Gap”, was meant to address raising kids to be well-mannered and goodnatured. In Gilboa’s words, she wants to avoid an entire generation of kids that are “little jerks”.

(Source: YourTeenMag) Dr. Deborah Gilboa

(Source: YourTeenMag) Dr. Deborah Gilboa

So how do we avoid raising an entire generation of “little jerks”? Gilboa thoroughly explains in her talk…

“What do household chores tell us about where society is headed? Chores are the canary in the coal mine of kids’ character,” Gilboa states as she begins her Tedx talk. Apparently, household chores say quite a lot. In her findings, Dr. Gilboa found that shockingly a low number of parents still assign household duties to their children. She claims that in talking with 1500 wealthy Silicon Valley parents, only four families assigned chores.

What’s causing this low rate of laborious household duties? Believe it or not: expectations of parents.

Parents tend to set expectations for their children’s academics and extracurriculars. So much rides on the success of academics and extracurriculars that they don’t task children with household chores and duties. Essentially, their children are too preoccupied with studying, sports, and clubs to do chores. Gilboa believes that chores and laborious tasks at home help build character and parents are robbing their children of the chance to complete them.

Learn how to avoid raising a “little jerk”! Click next and read on!

Along with that general sense of character building, Dr. Gilboa thinks that household duties help develop morals and manners. “As our expectations are rising on their achievements, our expectations are simultaneously dropping on the character of the child in front of us. Adults are willing to tolerate, excuse, even promote behaviors that damage these people that we love,” she states in her speech.

“I am a family doctor, and a few parents of kids in my practice say that they not only understand, they pay for their kids’ alcohol and drug use to help them manage the stress of their enormous workload,” she added.

Deborah, a mother of four, didn’t stray away from using her own personal experiences as a mother to relay her point. She uses an anecdote involving one of her four sons in the Tedx talk. Apparently, one of her sons had put little effort or thought into his school’s science fair. At the age of 12 he finally put in a favorable amount of effort and he was awarded 3rd place overall. Deborah, excited for her son’s effort and award, let him know how proud she was of him. However, she was none to pleased to find out that her son and the other award winning students of the fair had all teamed up to pick on a fellow student whose project didn’t place.

(Source: Deborah Gilboa) Dr. Gilboa's son's science fair project

(Source: Deborah Gilboa) Dr. Gilboa’s son’s science fair project

Understanding the importance of morality, she put aside the urge to congratulate her son on his big day and reprimanded him for picking on the other student. What she found interesting is that the other students’ parents didn’t correct their kids’ behavior. Instead they further congratulated their kids for their academic achievement.

Sure. Academics are incredibly important…but at what cost? The loss of morality? That’s why she believes we are all at risk of raising a generation of “little jerks”.

“Being a jerk to some other kid doesn’t diminish his science fair award, it diminishes him as a person,” Gilboa said of the incident, “And it’s him as a person that we need to raise right.”

Learn how to avoid raising a “little jerk”! Click next and read on!

Gilboa concludes her talk by suggesting that this generation doesn’t do simple chores because they’re “too busy” with schedules loaded with sports, extracurriculars, and honors classes. While it’s fine to participate in activities like this, we’re robbing out children  of the opportunity to develop proper manners and lessons in becoming a good person. “The solutions to [our] issues don’t depend on great SAT scores. They depend on problem solvers of good character — people who see something wrong and ask, ‘What can I do about that?'” Gilboa says.

Simply put, Dr. Gilboa wants parents to understand that a child’s happiness isn’t the responsibility of a parent. A child’s character, however, is:

“When we focus on our kids’ character, they will accomplish meaningful things and are very likely to find and make their own happiness. But the opposite is not true. Because when we focus on our kids’ achievements and immediate happiness, it’s easy for them to turn out to be jerks, never knowing that this was not our goal,” she claims.

Watch the whole Tedx talk here:

This article was originally posted by TODAY.

READ:6 Ways to reprimand your kids without yelling

If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from theAsianparent.com Philippines!