Over the recent holiday season, the old adage “caring is sharing” often comes to mind. Sharing gifts. Sharing time with family and friends. Sharing food (perhaps a cookie or two). These are all wonderful ways to show others that we care about them, and excellent skills to be teaching our children.
But caring is more than sharing, and is fundamentally important to helping raise our children to be empathetic, responsible, successful, and ultimately happy young people and adults. From improved social relationships to success in the workplace, when we are concerned for others and care, we all benefit.
The Harvard Making Caring Common (MCC) project focuses on issues around care and has tips and resources for parents and educators. MCC’s Raising Caring Children resource features seven tips, each with a “why”, a “how”, and set of practical examples to try at home. Below is an example of some of those examples on how to be a strong moral role model and mentor.
[Excerpt taken from Raising Caring Children]
- Service. Regularly engage in community service or model other ways of contributing to a community. Even better, consider doing this with your child.
- Honesty and humility. Talk with your child when you make a mistake that affects them about why you think you made it, apologize for the mistake, and explain how you plan to avoid making the mistake next time.
- Check-in with others. Reflect and consult with people you trust when you’re finding it hard to be caring or to model important ethical qualities like fairness.
- Take care of yourself. Whether it’s spending time with a friend, going for a walk, praying or meditating, try to make time to relieve your stress both because it’s important for you and because it will enable you to be more attentive to and caring with others.
Do you have tips and techniques that you’ve used to help foster caring with your family? Share them with us on our Facebook page, FatherhoodGov!
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