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Teaching your kids to be nice might not be enough.

As parents, we invest a great deal of time and energy into raising our children. We aspire to make them kind, courteous, and considerate individuals. However, is teaching our kids to be ‘nice’ enough? While there’s no denying the importance of cultivating good manners, it might be worth asking whether we’re going deep enough.

The Problem with Just Being Nice

‘Nice’ is a vague term. It typically implies politeness, agreeableness, and basic respect. Yet, it lacks the depth that character development requires. Being nice can sometimes mean adhering to societal norms without much thought. It can even lead to people-pleasing tendencies, where children might suppress their true feelings or thoughts to maintain a ‘nice’ façade. It may also overlook the necessity of standing up for oneself and others when faced with unfair or unjust situations.

Beyond ‘Nice’: Instilling Deep-Seated Values

So, if being ‘nice’ isn’t the ultimate parenting goal, what is? Instead of focusing on surface-level niceties, we should aim to foster deep-seated values in our children. These might include empathy, resilience, honesty, courage, and respect for diversity. By nurturing these qualities, we’ll be equipping our kids with the tools they need to navigate life’s complexities and become contributing members of society.

Teaching Key Values: 12 Essential Lessons

  1. Empathy: Teach them to understand and share the feelings of others.
  2. Honesty: Encourage them to always tell the truth, even when it’s difficult.
  3. Courage: Help them face their fears and stand up for what’s right.
  4. Resilience: Show them how to bounce back from adversity.
  5. Respect for diversity: Encourage them to appreciate and value differences in people.
  6. Responsibility: Guide them to take ownership of their actions and decisions.
  7. Self-confidence: Teach them to believe in themselves and their abilities.
  8. Kindness: Instill in them the importance of being genuinely kind to others.
  9. Critical Thinking: Encourage them to question and think independently.
  10. Patience: Teach them the virtue of waiting and having self-control.
  11. Gratitude: Help them appreciate what they have and express thanks regularly.
  12. Perseverance: Teach them to keep trying, even when things get tough.

Self Drive Psychology Summary

While teaching children to be nice is a laudable goal, it shouldn’t be the only one. Instilling deep-seated values in our kids like empathy, resilience, and respect for diversity is crucial in raising them to be well-rounded individuals. By teaching them these 12 key values, we are not just creating a generation of ‘nice’ kids, but one that is also compassionate, thoughtful, and resilient.


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