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Do these 5 things to raise truly "good kids", say psychologists

How can you make sure you raise truly good kids? Is goodness acquired through nature or nurture? Here's what experts have to say!

Raising well-adjusted and genuinely good kids in this day and age can be daunting. With the advancement of technology comes various influences that can either distract or enhance their development.

There are many questions parents find themselves asking with each stage of their kid's life: how can I inspire compassion? How can I teach the concept of doing what's right? How can I teach good manners? (Can it even be taught?)

At the core of all these musings is a need to protect them, to steer them to the right path so they will grow up to be better versions of ourselves. But as a parent, you have to trust that your guidance and love will be more than enough to raise your kid to be the best they can possibly be.

Here's what psychologists think parents need to keep doing in order to raise truly good kids.

1. Show them you care

This may sound simple, but it's easy to forget that caring should not only be expressed through words. How, then? Spend quality time with your kids. Teach them caring and respect by making them feel it.

Be genuinely interested in who they are and the way their mind works. Engage in daily conversations that help them express their emotions. Forming a strong attachment makes them more open and receptive to your advice.

Providing for their needs goes beyond finances; it means building a loving, safe home for them, being a shoulder to cry on, sharing their interests, and encouraging their talents.

2. Be their role model and mentor

According to Psychology Today, parents are their child's main attraction, so they have a responsibility to cultivate good behavioral habits. Parents know the basics, like watching their temper and language, but there are more ways to be an effective role model and mentor. Remember: no parent is perfect.

For instance, after a tiring day at work, you don't have to pretend to be in a good mood and then accidentally snap at them for spilling their juice. Tell them you're tired and you want to rest. This teaches them to "take responsibility" for their feelings.

photo: dreamstime

3. Care for others and have high morality standards

For kids to be kind and respectful, they must be raised in a home that promotes this. Dr. Jim Taylor suggests having family discussions about what "being good" means. This way, parents can gauge their kid's concept of morality and determine what areas they can explore and discuss in more detail.

Setting the bar high for behavioral expectations will teach kids to strive to always do the right thing. There needs to be consequences in order for kids to learn accountability, but remember to explain all this with gentleness and love.

4. Remind them to be appreciative and grateful

A thankful child grows up to be a happy adult. Dr. Kyle D. Pruett recommends that parents verbalize their gratitude regularly. Parents can also express thankfulness behaviorally. For instance, cooking a good meal for a kind neighbor to thank them for their help. He reminds parents that the value of gratitude doesn't often evolve naturally and should be reinforced and encouraged continuously as your child grows.

5. Teach them to focus on "the big picture"

Widening a child's perspective means deepening their compassion for the world around them. While it's vital for them to focus on what they can do for their loved ones, it's just as important for their development that they learn how to "expand their circle of concern."

Cultivate generosity by engaging them in charitable giving and activities which allow them to share their time and talents with those in need. Looking outside of themselves helps them grow up with a genuine love for others and an unwavering sense of self-worth.

READ: If you don’t want your kids to be ill mannered, stop doing these 5 things

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