Psychologists at Harvard have been hard at work studying the best things a parent can do to raise children to be ethical, kind and genuinely good people. Their findings? According to the researchers at the prestigious school, it's the general love and guidance of a parent that is the fundamental basis of raising a 'good' child.
After reviewing the resulting tips from Harvard's study, these suggestions seem like no-brainers. However, that doesn't make the researchers findings less legitimate or useful. Check out their top tips for yourself!
1) Give Your Kids A Lot Of Love
This may seem obvious, but its importance remains. What better way to teach kids to be loving, kind and empathetic than to show them how good it feels. Treat others the way you want to be treated has never been so appropriate.
According to the study, receiving a parent's love and affection makes kids that much more likely to form an attachment to their parents, which influences them to be more open to accepting and understanding of parents values and lessons.
2) Set A Good Example
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all, and what child doesn’t try to act like their parents? Teach your kids good character by showing them what good character looks like.
According to the researchers: “It‘s also important for us to recognize what might be getting in the way of our own caring.”
3) Let Them Interact With Others
In the park or in the classroom, it’s important to put kids in situations where they can interact with one another and understand how to show caring and kindness. "Studies show that people who engage in the habit of expressing gratitude are more likely to be helpful, generous, compassionate and forgiving,” the report states. “They’re also more likely to be happy and healthy.”
4) Help Them Understand Their Emotions
Feelings can make any person act uncharacteristically, and kids are no different. It’s key to teach kids how to handle negative emotions like anger or envy. “Children need our help learning to cope with feelings in productive ways,” the researchers concluded.
5) Solve Problems, Don't Ignore Them
The researchers suggest to "try to achieve mutual understanding — listening to and paraphrasing each other’s feelings until both people feel understood." They don't want to do the dishes? Have them ask themselves, "why not?" Chances are it's because it's boring or tedious, in which case a dishes dance party is the answer!
ALSO ON HUFFPOST: