Raising a Moral Child
Photo What does it take to be a good parent? We know some of the tricks for teaching kids to become high achievers. For example, research suggests that when parents praise effort rather than ability, children develop a stronger work ethic and become more motivated. Yet although some parents live vicariously through their children’s accomplishments, success is not the No. 1 priority for most parents. We’re much more concerned about our children becoming kind, compassionate and helpful. Despite the significance that it holds in our lives, teaching children to care about others is no simple task. Are some children simply good-natured — or not? Genetic twin studies suggest that anywhere from a quarter to more than half of our propensity to be giving and caring is inherited. By age 2, children experience some moral emotions — feelings triggered by right and wrong. But is that the right approach? The researchers randomly assigned the children to receive different types of praise.
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• Raising Kids