Child psychologists reveal the 7 things parents must do to raise a ‘good child’

If you want a good and caring child, psychologists have said you MUST do these seven things…

Child psychologists reveal the 7 things parents must do to raise a ‘good child’

by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Every parent wants their child to be caring, kind, respectful, and ethical.

And now child experts have revealed that there are certain things mums and dads need to do to make sure this happens.

Psychologists at Harvard University explained in their report: “Research in human development clearly shows that the seeds of empathy, caring, and compassion are present from early in life, but that to become caring, ethical people, children need adults to help them at every stage of childhood to nurture these seeds into full development.”

Parents should, they continue, work hard with their little ones to make sure that they become ‘good’ people.

Here is their full list of tips for achieving this:

1) Work to develop caring, loving relationships with your kids

Experts suggest that you plan regular, emotional time with your children, either through reading them a nightly bedtime story or another scheduled activity.

During this time together you should ask them questions that bring out their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

For example: “What was the best part of your day? The hardest part?”

  1. Be a strong moral role model and mentor

Children watch our actions - and unconsciously reflect them in their own behaviour - so parents are encouraged to pay close attention to whether they themselves are being honest, fair, and caring.

They also suggest that you regularly engage in community service (ideally with your child), and work to relieve your own stress levels, either through going for a walk or meditating, as it will enable you to be more caring to others.

  1. Make caring for others a priority and set high ethical expectations

Children always want to meet their parents expectations, so think about the daily messages you’re sending to your child.

For example, instead of saying ‘the most important thing is that you’re happy’, try saying ‘the most important thing is that you’re kind and happy’.

  1. Provide opportunities for children to practice caring and gratitude

Your children need practice when it comes to being caring and grateful, so make sure you give them the opportunities.

You should, therefore, expect them to routinely help around the house, or with their little brothers or sisters, and only praise them for uncommon acts of kindness (outside their daily routine).

  1. Expand your child’s circle of concern

Children should be taught to care for those outside their family and small circle of friends.

To do this, encourage your children to be kinder tho those who may be vulnerable, such as a new child at school or a child experiencing some family trouble. And give them some simple ideas for taking action, like comforting a classmate who was teased or reaching out to a new student.

Experts also suggest that you use newspaper or TV stories to start conversations with children about other people’s hardships and challenges.

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  1. Promote children’s ability to be ethical thinkers and positive change-makers in their communities

Children are naturally interested in ethical issues - so why not encourage them to do something about it?

To get the ball rolling, start conversations about ethical dilemmas at dinnertime.

For example, you could ask them what they would do if they saw a classmate cheating, or if they witnessed another child being bullied.

Once they have started formulating their own opinions and morals, you should encourage your children to join causes, whether it’s reducing homelessness, supporting girls’ education in developing countries, calling attention to the plight of abused animals, or any area that is of interest to them.

  1. Help children develop self-control and manage feelings effectively

Teaching children that it is okay to feel angry, upset or down is important, but it's more important to teach them how to deal with these.

To do this, experts advise that you help your child to name difficult feelings they may be experiencing (such as anger or sadness) and encourage them to talk to you about why they feel this way.

And, when they are particularly upset or frustrated, you should do the following:

  • Ask your child to stop

  • Have them take a deep breath through the nose and exhale through the mouth

  • Have them count to five

  • Discuss what has happened calmly together

The new Disney Pixar film Inside Out (see the trailer below) is a good way to teach your little ones about the emotions they regularly experience - and the importance of listening to their feelings:

** Do you have any parenting tips to add of your own?**

Share them via the comments box below now.

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