What is the secret of raising good kids?
This is not an easy question to answer.
You probably know a number of good parents that are able to raise all their kids in the same, strategic manner.
So, how do they do it? Do they know a technique that you don’t?
Well, yes, they do!
According to research, psychologists have discovered the five rules that good parents make use of for raising their children.
What are these rules? We have listed them out for you below:
1. Spend Quality Time With Them
This is perhaps the most important part of raising a child.
Spend quality time with your kids, regularly, no matter how busy your schedule might be.
Ask them questions about themselves, ask them about their perception of the world and how they see it and always remember to actively listen to what they have to say.
Psychologist Signe Whitson says that every bit of kindness towards your kids builds the relationship between adult and child:
“A proud smile, a word of reassurance, a bit of your undivided attention, a thoughtful response, an opportunity to practice a new skill, a hug just when it is needed most; all of these supportive behaviors are at once free and priceless. Each of them communicates to a young person that they have worth and value.”
This plays a key role in the personal development of any children and it will help you learn all kinds of things about them, as well.
Not just this, but you will also be showing them how much you care for them and love them too.
Can all problems be solved with the gift of time? Of course not. It’s all about quality.
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Whitson says “something as simple and uncomplicated as a supportive 10-minute conversation” from a parent “can go a surprisingly long way in helping a young person think more rationally, make better decisions, and feel less of the alienation that prompted previous misbehavior”.
2. Show Them The Bigger Picture
According to researchers, all children care about and empathize only with a small circle of family and friends.
Good parents understand this and are able to get their kids to care about the individuals that are socially, geographically, or culturally outside of their circles.
This can be done by coaching your children to be good listeners – encourage them to look at situations from the eyes of other people as well and teach them about empathy by practicing it yourself.
It’s also important to encourage your kids to pursue different talents and interests. According to Parent:
“Pursuing interests and talents helps children feel a sense of mastery and achievement. It can positively engage children through the teen and young adult years, teaching persistence and helping protect against risk-taking behavior.”
3. Make Gratitude And Helpfulness A Routine
When it comes to raising kind kids, this is the most important thing we can do, says Dr. Harding. “We can’t control their behavior, but we can look for ways to demonstrate kind behavior ourselves.”
Research shows that the most effective way of being compassionate, forgiving, and generous is by engaging in a habit of expressing gratitude.
People that make helpfulness and gratitude a part of their routine are also likely to lead happy and healthy lives.”
Therefore, parents are advised to ask their kids to help out their siblings, hold the line on the chores, and practice giving thanks whenever possible throughout the day.
The research also recommends that parents praise the uncommon acts of kindness that their kids perform to motivate them to ‘keep it up’.
4. Be A Mentor And Role Model
The first people that children look up to are their parents and this is exactly why you need to be the perfect model of how you want your children to be in the future.
According to Psychologist Lisa Firestone in Psychology Today, children really “do as parents do, not as they say.”
“Children develop behaviors through observing their parents in day-to-day life. Every behavior that a parent engages in should be worthy of imitating because children will imitate it.”
Children learn their ethical and moral values by observing the actions of their parents.
How can you be a role model? By simply practicing what you preach!
Practice fairness, honesty, and caring on your own and you will see that your children will quickly incorporate them in their lives, too.
However, this does not mean that you have to be perfect at all times.
Build an understanding and a relationship of trust and respect with your kids – acknowledge and apologize for the mistakes that you make and ensure that you respect your children’s perspectives as well rather than scolding them when they have a different opinion.
5. Set High Ethical Expectations
You need to teach your child to socialize with others in the right way.
Caring for the happiness of others and avoiding selfishness are attributes that will help your child in the long run.
As a Harvard study states, it is very important that children hear from their parents that caring for others is a top priority.
To make sure that the message is clear for your children, keep high ethical expectations for them.
Often, responsibilities and obligations are a good way of reminding them about this – chores, manners, school responsibilities, promises, and friends all teach children about fulfilling expectations.
Be sure to remind your kids that they are not responsible for themselves alone and that they need to fulfill the expectations that others have from them, as well.
The Harvard blog says that adults need to “walk the talk” and prioritize these values even when it collides with a children’s moment of happiness:
“How can we close the gap between what adults say and what they actually seem to prioritize? The big challenge is not to convince parents and teachers that caring is important—it appears they already believe it is. The challenge is for adults to “walk the talk,” inspiring, motivating, and expecting caring and fairness in young people day to day, even at times when these values collide with children’s moment to moment happiness or achievement.”