Raising kids is difficult enough. Nurturing them so they will grow up as emotionally healthy adults requires a certain degree of empathy and understanding. Social media has further fuelled the rise of children who value other people’s impressions more than reality. In these challenging times, is it possible to develop children who do not base their life choices on how many ‘likes’’ their decision would receive on social media? How can a mother raise a child who thinks of other people’s welfare first before his or her own? No parent is perfect the same way no child is, but there are simple ways to increase the possibility of raising a healthy and emotionally sound child.
Teach kids to earn their keep
Giving kids praise is necessary but only when they have done the work required to earn it. Giving limitless rewards just for its own sake is a way to raise a selfish child. Praise is not equal to love. Showering children with too much praise, specifically those they did not earn, teaches them to be complacent. Allow kids to exert real effort enough to make them value the work for its own sake, not because they expect to be praised for doing it.
Minimise calling them “special”
Though all children are perceived by their parents as “special”, there is a negative effect when they are consistently thought of as better than everyone. Even if they literally possess an exceptional quality, they need not be told this as it would be naturally evident. Kids who are told that they are one of a kind may grow up with an unrealistic perception of themselves and become easily frustrated when they do not measure up to such unrealistic standards.
Help them form authentic relationships
Real relationships require mutual empathy. Having empathy means that one needs to be capable of looking outside one’s self and into the shoes of others. Allow your kids to form deep and lasting friendships. Their empathetic muscles need to be used. Doing so helps keep them grounded and focused on the welfare of others more than themselves.
These simple tips can easily be done everyday and could make a difference in the lives of your children. After all, it is never to early to teach them how to be better human beings.