Parents Should Encourage Good Deeds

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.59.13 AMJust the other day I read a Facebook post from a friend on how her daughter had received a citizenship award. According to my friend’s post, it was the first of its kind at her daughter’s school and it was given to the little girl for “spreading her kindness and great spirit in a whole new environment.” The two recently moved to another state and it’s great to see she is bringing happiness and good manners with her. To celebrate, her mother took her to her favorite place — the beach. It was such a great Facebook update to read. But this made me wonder how often do parents acknowledge the good things their child has done for others?

We take kids out to eat when they pass a test, a class or even score a goal, but what about the simple things like a kind deed? There is a study conducted by Rick Weissbourd and other colleagues of Harvard Graduate School of Education that ranked how children believe their parents perceive values. For 80% of respondents, it’s all about achievements and happiness. But something interesting about this study was how low kindness ranked.

“Students said that achievement was the most important value and thought their peers would agree,” according to an article on Today. “More importantly, students reported that their parents appreciated achievement much more than happiness or kindness. They were three times as likely to agree with the statement ‘My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my classes than if I’m a caring community member.'”

Weissbourd believes these expectations can cause bad behaviors among children, such as copying homework and cheating on tests.

Do you reward your child(ren) for good deeds?

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