By Peace Quarters
Posted on April 25, 2017
Psychologists from Harvard University have put together a list of elements that are suggested to be the key to raising a good and successful child in today’s world. Although these elements are quite simple, they are really important to remember.
Five key steps for parents to take:
- SPEND QUALITY TIME
Be there. Not just physically, but also emotionally. Listening to your child and making conversations really helps you to bond with each other. Also, turn off all the electronics and give them your time without any disturbance. Doing things together will teach your child to be a more caring and considerate person.
- Practical things you can do:
- Play their favourite game together
- Read them a book
- Ask them questions about their day
- BECOME A ROLE MODEL
Children learn from things they see and experience. Many parents may not notice how much of their behavior young kids actually see and understand. This is why you should really think about your words and actions. When you make mistakes, admit them and apologize. Be the example you want your child to become.
Another important thing is respect, which can only be earned. So always be honest, show that you are a human too and humans make mistakes. Also, try to see everything as a lesson and a chance to grow and become a better person. Teach this to your child as well.
- Always admit your mistakes and apologize for them
- Talk about problems and finding solutions
- Find time to take care of yourself, only then you can take care of others
- TEACH THEM VALUES
It is important that your child communicates with others and learns to share in the young age. Taking other peoples’ feelings in consideration and being selfless is a really important feature and can become beneficial in the future.
The Harvard study found that caring about others is as important as one’s own happiness. This is something that parents need to teach their children consistently because sometimes the message is not received quickly.
As a parent, you must always be an example. This means taking responsibility and doing the right thing (even when it is not the most convenient thing to do). Be a role model and confirm your words with your actions. Remind them, that others are counting on them and it is not nice to let people down.
- Teach them every day to be kind
- Make them take responsibility for their actions and stick to their commitments. Do not just let them quit a sport or end a friendship. It is always easier to just give up, but it is not always the right thing to do.
- TEACH THEM GRATITUDE
Teach them to appreciate people and things in their life. Tell them about the history and difficult times, so they would understand how lucky they really are to live in this time with plenty of opportunities. Teach them not to take their life and possibilities for granted.
The study has shown, that people, who practice gratitude in their everyday lives, are more helpful, generous, compassionate and forgiving. What is most important – they are more happy and healthy. So it is definitely a key feature in a good person.
- Remind your child to be grateful in everyday life
- Teach them to show respect and appreciation for people (family members, teachers, neighbors) in their lives
- Be the role model and do not take people and things in your life for granted
- SHOW THEM THE BIGGER PICTURE
It is a commonly known fact that children care about a small circle of family and friends. This is absolutely normal, but the difficult challenge is to teach them to empathize with people outside their circle.
Children need to learn that it all starts with one person and that they can make a big difference in someone’s life. So it is important to show kindness towards people you do not know so well (new kid in class, the shopkeeper, the cleaning lady).
The Harvard study suggested that children should learn to zoom in and listen closely to those, who are part of their inner circle but also to zoom out and take in consideration the bigger range of people they interact with on daily basis.
- Teach your child empathy – teach them to comfort a crying kid and reach out to a new classmate
- Have conversations about different people and their lives. Talk about people with different religions, beliefs, communities and countries
- Teach them not to have prejudices and to show kindness to people around them