Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Parent, Teacher, Author

Raising caring kids

Harvard’s Graduate School of Education has developed their Making Caring Common Project to help parents, teachers, and others who live and work with kids as they try to raise children who focus not just on their own achievements, but on helping those around them.

This project is near to my heart as someone who believes that we should be helping children see themselves as agents if positive change in the world. But how do we do that?

Below is a sample tip from the MCC site. As you can see from the example below, each tip is set up with what you can do, why you should do it, and some specific strategies for how to put it into place.

I especially like the focus on modeling caring behavior, then providing an opportunity for the child to show caring behavior, and then ways you can help the child learn to apply that idea more broadly. This is a great way to frame strategies that promote developmental growth. The MCC says:

“1. Be a strong moral role model and mentor


Children learn ethical values and behaviors by watching our actions and the actions of other adults they respect.


Being a moral role model and mentor means paying close attention to whether we are practicing honesty, fairness, and caring ourselves and modeling skills like solving conflicts peacefully and managing anger and other difficult emotions effectively.

Try this

Regularly engage in community service or model for children other ways of contributing to a community. Even better, consider doing this with your child.”

Check out the link below for more tips on how to raise caring children!


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