How to raise a child who cares

Lots of parents are alarmed when they see selfish traits in their kids. But when they express these concerns to us, we remind them that the main part of the brain responsible for empathy is particularly undeveloped in young children. Empathy and caring are skills to be learned. In general, we want to caution parents about globalizing any egocentrism they might be perceiving in their kids at the moment. In truth, it’s developmentally typical for children to consider themselves first; it gives them a better chance of surviving.

Tina Payne Bryson and Daniel Siegel

What, if anything, do children owe their parents?

This may seem like a debatable topic, but let me just quote answers from this wonderful Quora Q&A that I generally agree with:

Children do not owe anything to their parents, purely by virtue of the relationship of parenthood.

Any adult, who believes a child becomes indebted due to the act of raising that child, is ill-prepared to raise children. That parent will end up with a child who is resentful of the parent.

Nothing from parenthood itself. People choose to become parents because they want to be parents, and not in an effort to do the kids a favor. […] But of course parents deserve the same courtesy as every other human being: if they treat you well, they deserve to be treated well.

Parenting mistakes to avoid

If your child is secretive and lacks trust, it might be because of your excessive irritability.

If your child often shows envy and jealousy, it might be because you compare her too often with someone else.

If a child is rude, it might be because they’re following the example of their parents or a family member.

If your child lies to you, it might be because you reacted too harshly to their previous mistake.

If your child doesn’t respect others, it might be because you tell her what to do without acknowledging her feelings.

More at:

Are kids using their devices too much?

Growing up, and even as a parent now, this topic still seems to be #UnpopularOpinionPuffin material.

If you want a better argument against tech use, it’s that hours spent on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat could lead you, as a parent, to have to deal with issues surrounding body shaming, bullying or even predatory interactions with those much older, at a younger age. […] While we criticize children for focusing too much on their electronic devices, I’d argue that the real criticism should fall firmly on us, the parents.

– Bryan Clark, Think kids are using their devices too much? I think they’re not using them enough