Bright Side would like to share with you six such pieces of advice about caring for and raising your child that have come straight from experts at Harvard University.
1. Spend time with your kids
This is the basis for everything. You should regularly spend time with your kids, take an interest in their hobbies as well as their problems, and, most importantly, listen to what they have to say. You’ll not only learn much about your son or daughter’s unique personality, but your actions will provide them with an example of how to show care and attention for others.
2. Always tell your child what he or she means to you
According to research carried out by psychologists, many children don’t know that they’re the most important person in the world to their parents. They genuinely need to hear these words from you. Don’t forget to say them as often as possible so that your child feels safe, loved, and valued.
For example, if your child suddenly decides they want to give up football training, ask them to explain why they want to do this, as well as the obligations they have to their teammates. If they still want to give it up, help them to find something new to ignite their passions.
4. Train them to help you out with something every day, and show that you’re grateful for their assistance
Research shows that people who are used to expressing their gratitude are more inclined to feel compassion for others, are more generous, and love to help. So it’s worth developing a set of daily activities that your child can help you with at home, for which you can thank them at every stage of the day. Psychologists also recommend rewarding children for genuine displays of kindness and the effort they put into helping you.
5. Help your child cope with their negative emotions
Psychologists believe that the ability to care for others is suppressed by such negative emotions as anger, hatred, shame, and envy. In helping children to comprehend these negative feelings, it will push them towards resolving their internal conflicts. Self-analysis of this kind will set them on the long path to becoming compassionate, caring individuals. It’s also important for establishing psychological stability.
6. Show them that the world is far bigger, more complex, and more interesting than they could ever imagine
According to research carried out by psychologists, almost all children are interested only in the small world of their family and friends. It’s crucial that they also learn to take an interest in the people and events outside this limited circle, which may differ from what they know in social, cultural, and geographical terms. You can help them with this by learning to be a good listener who can place themself in someone else’s shoes and feel empathy, whether it’s through films, photographs, or the news.
Some final important words from the experts at Harvard: ’Raising a child to be polite, caring, and compassionate is a very difficult task. But it’s exactly what all of us are capable of doing. And nothing else in the world will ever compare to the importance of this or the priceless joy you feel from it when it’s achieved.’