How can you counteract negative influences like TV violence and a culture that exalts “heroes” who are selfish?
The most important thing is to be kind to your kids, say experts. The most caring kids are those who have been well-cared for. When they feel secure at home, they’re able to reach out to others.
It’s also important for parents to:
- Model caring and kindness. Do favors for neighbors. Put birdseed out during the winter. Help out when a child is being cruelly teased.
- Surround your child with people who are caring.
- Find organized ways to involve children in helping others. Check out the special programs religious and volunteer organizations have for young people.
- Give your child books whose “ordinary” characters perform acts of caring and concern.
- Limit viewing of TV violence and programs that glamorize people who “get ahead” at the expense of others. Watch shows that promote caring.
- Talk about the cruel and selfish behavior your child sees on TV or in the news. Ask him to consider what other approaches the person might have taken.
- Educate your child about famous altruists. Museums and books are good sources.
- Talk to your child about who you admire and why. Ask your child who she admires.
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