When I was a kid, we played outside until dark, mom and dad rented a movie on Friday nights, and we watched cartoons Saturday mornings. Today, there are so many things competing for our kids’ attention, and access is instant for just about anything they want. It’s safe to say we are raising children differently than our parents did, and it feels like there are more challenges than ever.
Not included in Harvard University Study, but one tip to add, is that when we raise our children, they must see us consistently putting Christ first in everything we do. If you think about it, God’s word teaches us so much about living life. It teaches us to be kind and compassionate, to love one another and to be thankful. The Bible even tells us not to worry. God gives us instruction in raising our children in Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Harvard University psychologists have studied what makes a good kid, and have come to the conclusion that we just need to return to the basics.
HERE ARE 5 SECRETS TO RAISING A GOOD KID, ACCORDING TO HARVARD PSYCHOLOGISTS:
1. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN.
This means being intentional about one on one time with your kids. I know, you’re swamped at work. There’s the house and the yard and your cousin’s wedding and on and on. Think back to when you were a kid. Are your fondest memories the things your parents bought you, or the experiences you had together? When it comes down to it, they just want to spend time with you.
2. SPEAK OUT LOUD TO YOUR CHILDREN.
According to the Harvard researchers, “Even though most parents and caretakers say that their children being caring is a top priority, often children aren’t hearing that message.” So be sure to say it with them. Check in with teachers and coaches to see how your kids are doing with teamwork, and how they are treating others.
3. SHOW YOUR CHILD HOW TO SOLVE PROBLEMS WITHOUT STRESSING ABOUT THE OUTCOME.
Rick Weissbourd, who conducted the study says, “We are hyper-focused on our kid’s happiness. I wasn’t surprised that happiness was ranked the highest, but I was surprised that achievement was ranked so high. The achievement pressure can have a bunch of negative results,” says Weissbourd, who is co-director of the Making Caring Common project. “I’m concerned that it makes kids less happy.”
4. SHOW YOUR CHILD GRATITUDE ON A REGULAR BASIS.
The researchers say that “studies show that people who engage in the habit of expressing gratitude are more likely to be helpful, generous, compassionate, and forgiving–and they’re also more likely to be happy and healthy.
5. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO SEE THE LARGER PICTURE.
Researchers say that “almost all children empathize with and care about a small circle of families and friends.” In addition, it’s important to teach your children to care for those they don’t even know.