Every parent imagines they are raising a caring child.
The perfect caring child may have the gentle attitude of Gandhi and the compassion of Mother Teresa.
However, when your child is the one on the playground that won't share a toy or hits a playmate, it's natural to wonder what went wrong.
18 month - 2 year old:
Children this young simply do not feel empathy for others, or easily express their emotions.
Tip for Raising a Caring Child: Talk about how your child's actions impact other people. Lay the groundwork by demonstrating the proper behavior and offer praise when "catching" your child do the right thing.
3 year old:
Limit your child's ability to make a wrong choice while still allowing them to show concern for others.
Tip for Raising a Caring Child: Ask "Would you like to share toy A or toy B with Jimmy?"
4 year old:
Empathy for others' feelings really begins to develop at about four year old.
Tip for Raising a Caring Child: Ask "How do you think Anne felt when you took away the blocks?"
When it comes to raising a caring child, Haas also stresses the importance of being a positive role model.
Children of all ages study their parents and caregivers for "clues" on how to behave.
"Character education is a critical part of our 'Life Essentials' curriculum at Kiddie Academy," says education expert Claire Haas, who serves as vice president of education for Kiddie Academy (www.kiddieacademy.com).
"Childhood is when personality begins to take shape. Our program teaches even the youngest students to care for and respect each other in a developmentally appropriate fashion."
For more information about how to raise a caring child or character education, visit Kiddie Academy's Family Essentials Blog.
She teaches at California State University, East Bay and is known as America's Most Trusted Learning Expert. She helps children and adults solve learning problems with her Amazing Grades Study Skills System and is an expert in learning styles.
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