Harvard's Secrets for Raising Good Children
As parents, we sometimes need advice about bringing our children up to be good people. Parenthood is wonderful, but it’s also an inexhaustible source of stress, doubts and worries. Raising good children is always difficult, and most of the time, we don’t know whether or not we’re doing the right thing.
Fortunately, there are many books, people and institutions that can lend a hand. One of them is the prestigious Harvard University, which is home to some of the best academics in the world.
Several of these experts have shared a series of useful tips to help parents face these common questions and concerns.
Raising good children, according to experts
There are three main pillars of a good education: responsibility, respect and empathy. Raising emotionally healthy children is challenging, but not impossible.
Above all, children need to feel loved and respected by their parents. This is the behavior that they’ll later copy and externalize with those around them.
Teach them to be grateful
Being thankful is a good way to learn to value others. It makes young people aware of how lucky they are to be surrounded by people who love and care for them.
Teach your children to be grateful for simple things that their parents do for them, like making their breakfast every day.
Giving thanks is a universal concept which improves communication and creates a good atmosphere. Additionally, according to multiple studies, children who are grateful are healthier than those who aren’t.
Family values: respect and understanding
A child should be absolutely clear about the values they learn at home. These will influence their future decisions in different areas of their life, such as at school and with their friends.
Our key values are very important, and children should know that above all, they must respect others and treat them with courtesy. It’s important that they know how to stand up for themselves in an unfair situation, but also how to forgive.
Spend as much time as you can with your children
Today, parents have very little time to raise their children. Work takes up many hours of the day, and when we get home, the only thing we want to do is relax.
Make sure you set aside time for your kids. This is a key part of raising good children. For example, you could try keeping one day a week free for them.
Encourage them to trust you and show them that they matter to you. Children would rather have the affection of their parents than any toy.
Teach them to be compassionate
One of the features of good people is compassion. Teach them to see beyond hate and resentment. Other people can make mistakes – and so can we.
Additionally, they should learn to protect the weak, and not to back down in the face of injustice. A good child is compassionate, but doesn’t allow others to mistreat them or those they love.
We all have value, and nobody deserves to be laughed at or humiliated.
Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy-
Children should take responsibility for their actions
Teach your children to be responsible. All the decisions they make, both good and bad, are theirs alone. They must be aware of the repercussions that their actions may have.
Encourage them to be brave, and to express their opinions without fear, but always with respect. Speak to them about the importance of morals, ethics and dignity. One day, they’ll thank you for it.
Healthy emotional control
Expressing our emotions and feelings is positive, and your children should know it. Many parents consider it to be a sign of weakness, but this isn’t true.
Part of raising good children is encouraging them to be themselves and express how they feel. Throughout their lives, they’ll go through many changes, not all of them good.
We can’t protect our children from every setback they’ll experience. But we can teach them to get back up and carry on.
Learning to deal with negative emotions is a difficult process, but with the help of good parents, they’ll be able to face it.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (2004). Children’s emotional development is built into the architecture of their brains. Working Paper, 2. Recuperado el 15 febrero 2010, de: https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/national-scientific-council-on-the-developing-child/
- Rustoyburu, C. (2012). Los consejos sobre crianza del Dr. Bonanfant: pediatría, psicoanálisis y escuela nueva (Buenos Aires, fines de la década de 1930). http://rephip.unr.edu.ar/handle/2133/2589
- Castro, P. J., Van der Veer, R., Burgos-Troncoso, G., Meneses-Pizarro, L., Pumarino-Cuevas, N., & Tello-Viorklumds, C. (2013). Teorías subjetivas en libros latinoamericanos de crianza, acerca de la educación emocional. Revista Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Niñez y Juventud, 11(2), 703-718. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/773/77329818018.pdf
- Raspi, E. M. (2005). Prácticas, normas y consejos para la buena crianza de un hijo. Montpellier, 1283-1285. Revista Escuela de Historia, 1(4), 0. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/638/63810413.pdf