By Raven Fon
Thanks to the internet, parents have been bombarded with information on how to properly raise their children. Each turn of the page or click of the mouse can give you wonderful new ideas, or a ton of worries for raising great children.
However, despite modern technology and modern ideas, the basics of raising morally good children hasn’t changed much over the years.
Every parent wants their children to reach their goals and find happiness, but how do we make sure we’re helping them and not hurting them, psychologically?
Harvard researchers believe you can help your kids and it doesn’t have to come at the expense of kindness or empathy. They say these tried-and-true strategies still remain the best methods to make sure your kids will be the morally upstanding and goal-oriented human beings you hope for them to be.
Here are 4 tips from Harvard psychologists on how to raise good kids:
1. Spend time with them.
Everything in the relationship with your children depends on you spending time with them. Take an interest in their hobbies, their likes and dislikes, what they’re going through, and, most importantly, listen to what they have to say. Not only will you learn a lot about your son or daughter’s unique personality, but how you act towards them shows them how to empathize with others.
2. Always remind your child how much they mean to you.
According to research carried out by psychologists, the majority of children really don’t know that they are the most important person in the universe to their parents. That is why it is so important for them to hear those words- they need to hear them. Be sure to say them as often as possible (without smothering of course) so they are assured that they are loved, cared for, and valued.
3. Show them that resolving problems, not running away from them, is the answer.
For example, if your son or daughter tells you that they no longer want to participate in a play because someone was being mean to them, ask them to explain the situation. Let them know you are there for them, but that problems can’t always be avoided, and if people depend on us (like the cast of a play) then we need to find a resolution instead of running away.
4. Help them to handle their negative feelings and emotions.
Psychologists believe that empathy and compassion towards others is suppressed by negative feelings and emotions, like anger, resentment, guilt, and jealousy. Helping your child to understand why they are feeling this way will drive them to resolve their own internal conflicts in the future, instead of shifting blame. Doing this kind of self-analysis is important for establishing psychological stability.