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Raising a Moral Child

Raising a Moral Child
Genetic twin studies suggest that anywhere from a quarter to more than half of our propensity to be giving and caring is inherited. That leaves a lot of room for nurture, and the evidence on how parents raise kind and compassionate children flies in the face of what many of even the most well-intentioned parents do in praising good behavior, responding to bad behavior, and communicating their values. By age 2, children experience some moral emotions — feelings triggered by right and wrong. To reinforce caring as the right behavior, research indicates, praise is more effective than rewards. Rewards run the risk of leading children to be kind only when a carrot is offered, whereas praise communicates that sharing is intrinsically worthwhile for its own sake. But what kind of praise should we give when our children show early signs of generosity? Many parents believe it’s important to compliment the behavior, not the child — that way, the child learns to repeat the behavior. Photo

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/12/opinion/sunday/raising-a-moral-child.html

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