Every parent out there can attest to the fact that raising kids is hard. At times it is emotionally draining while other times it is physically exhausting. I found that the exhausting early years of little sleep, sporadic napping, lifting and carrying the little ones gave way to later teenage years that were mentally and emotionally taxing as I tried to help my teenagers navigate the ups and downs, stressors, and pressures of high school.
Parenting is a 24 hour seven day a week job that does not come with instructions. Which is why when my children were little I was very grateful to have a group of new neighborhood moms to meet with each week. It was comforting and helpful to share our experiences. It gave us time to talk with other adults and compare notes on what was working in the child rearing department.
Rotating visits between our homes, we would sit with our cups of coffee enjoying our conversations all the while keeping a watchful eye on the kids. Invariably, a squabble would break out when one toddler would snatch a beloved toy right out of the hands of an unsuspecting playmate. These were the years of parallel play. Where the toddlers played side-by-side, interested in what each other was doing but not actively engaging with each other. That is, until they saw a toy that they wanted and thought nothing of grabbing it away. As parents we would step in and try to turn these screeching moments into a lesson on sharing. As most parents know, sharing can be a hard lesson for a toddler to learn!
Honestly it often felt as though the motions we would go through, modeling sharing, coaxing sharing, trading toys back and forth between the children was all for not. But as parents we were doing our best to raise caring children – we just weren’t always certain about when we should be teaching empathy, courage, cooperation, honesty, and generosity – all great traits we want for our children, but at what age are children able to start learning and understanding these important character developments?
We weren’t alone in our confusion. Compassion, honesty and generosity – How soon should parents start helping their kids develop these traits? In a recent survey, parents overwhelming agreed that good character traits were important. Yet, nearly half said preschool is too young for children to start learning critical social-emotional skills, like getting along with others and compassion. Why?
Dr. Laura Jana is a board-certified pediatrician and proud mother of three. She’s also an award-winning parenting and children’s books author. She joined me for an interview to debunk some misconceptions about what our kids can learn and when, and the importance of raising selfless children in a selfie world. She also shared tips on how to do so. If you have ever wondered how you can help your child develop such important traits such as empathy, compassion, honesty, courage, cooperation and generosity, you’ll definitely want to watch the interview below.
Pediatrician Dr. Laura Jana On How To Raise Selfless Kids In A Selfie World
Thank you to Primrose Schools for providing me with this interview opportunity.