As new parents we bumble along trying to make sure our children get the best of the best so that they will grow up to be intelligent, successful, beautiful, and affluent. We look at our children when they are little and wonder if we are pouring the right potion into their little minds and bodies to achieve all those things. Well all of us parents can take a big sigh of relief because according to the latest report from the research psychology department of Harvard, there is only one character trait that kids need in order to develop a delightful disposition and become a successful human being.

If you are worried about the ways to raise good kids and how to do that, Harvard suggests all you need to teach them is to care. According to the research of this esteemed institution, children that care about others are happier. Full stop! Nothing more fancy, elaborate, or expensive than that.

Early Parenting: Here are 7 ways to raise kids that care.

  1. Pencil in ‘Fun Time’ on the family calendar. The reason why is that children respond to care and respect when they are treated with care and respect. Putting aside family time to engage in a fun activity give everyone the opportunity to practice, and learn how to ‘care and respect’ each other.
  2. Your child turns to you for ethical and moral values even if you are not aware of it. Make sure that you yourself are practicing what you preach. Honesty, fairness, and caring are things you yourself must practice if you want your little one to emulate you. Don’t worry, he will emulate whatever you do. What is even more interesting, according to Harvard is that if you also practice self-awareness and honesty by admitting mistakes and flaws of your own. With this comes the opportunity for you children to understand that you are not perfect and that it is alright to make mistakes and work on your personal flaws.
  3. Harvard stipulates that children do not know before hand that if they care for others it will make their own life better so it is important to teach them. Set high standards for yourself, prioritising doing the right thing by others and the world around you. Sticking to your principles of justice, values, and fairness. By doing these things you are even raising a child who cares for the world around her.
  4. Teach them ‘thank-you’. Gratitude is an invaluable tool. People all over the world who practice gratitude extol its spiritual value. The Harvard psychologists add that when children learn to acknowledge and thank the people who have contributed to their lives they become more helpful, generous, compassionate, and forgiving people themselves.
  5. Discuss the hardships of the whole planet. You would be surprised how young children are when they figure out the inequalities and injustices in the world. Don’t be afraid to be honest. Don’t be afraid of your child’s emotion.
  6. Motivate your child. Join a cause together. This gets the child actively involved in caring for others. It can be a pet shelter, visiting an old age home, or even playing with younger children like toddlers and babies.
  7. Identify emotions. Help your child understand what she is feeling. It is important for you as the parent to be able to navigate through a tantrum, for example, when you child does not know what she is feeling. It is easy to get caught up in the hysteria but if a child can learn to deal with her emotions from a young age, that is one of the best legacies that you as a parents can give.