According to the psychologists at the Harvard University, the secret to raising good children is simple, make them understand 'caring'.
As a parent, we all strive to raise good children. Well, according to a recent publication by Harvard University, the secret lies in raising caring children. And that is why they have a massive project going on - The Making Caring Common Project. The idea behind the MCC Project is 'to help parents and educators raise children who are caring, responsible to their communities, and committed to justice.'
There are 5 simple, yet tried and tested rules to bring out and maintain caring nature in children. So, without pussyfooting around, let me get to them.
1# Spend quality time with your children
While this might seem like an obvious statement, parents don't often spend quality time with children. The definition of a quality time is time spent regularly, meaningfully engaging the children. One of the ways of doing it is by asking them open-ended questions. This will foster meaningful conversations.
When you do this, you show them how good relationships should be. From then on, this would be the benchmark for their future interpersonal relationships.
2# Be a solid role model
Every influential person that brought about a positive change in you has done so by leading by an example. We admire someone because of his philosophy and how he lives by a code of conduct. And that is why you have to be fair, kind, and caring. It is not a very easy thing to do, but be the change you want to see in your child. They learn from you.
So if you are in a sticky situation, instead of trying the easiest way out, try the correct way to deal with the situation. If your child has misbehaved, let him know that it is wrong, but also show him the correct way to deal with such situations.
3# Expect caring and kindness from them
Children, especially younger than 7, seek your validation in everything they do. And that is why this age is so impressionable. So hold them to the highest ethical standards at home and see the difference. While you do this, prioritise kindness. Discuss the less-grim news with them and ask them how they would have reacted in such situations. When a child has thought about it, kindness will come more naturally to him.
4# Give them ample opportunities to care
Involve them in causes. When you volunteer, take them along. Thankfully, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities in Singapore. Let them be in a situation where they can care and the results of their deeds are apparent instantly. For instance, if they read to an elderly lady, chances are high that she will be happy and tell them so.
At school, encourage them to be involved in projects against bullying, racial disharmony to name a few. This will give them an opportunity to practice goodness wherever they go.
5# Let them see the larger picture
Children are often caught in the microworld of family and friends. Travel and let them see what their peers from other countries go through. Let them interact with children who are less fortunate than them. This will encourage them to appreciate what they have.
But most importantly, they now have a cause they can uphold. We all complain that teenagers lack empathy. Maybe, this will help them cope up with the feeling of confusion and help them on their path to self-discovery.
Remember, mums and dads, it is our responsibility as a parent to make the child worthy of the world that is is going to inherit from us!
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore