Teaching children to be considerate

Gordon Neufeld, PhD Psychologist & Author, shares advice for parents on how to teach your children to be considerate and caring to others
Teaching Values To Children - How To Teach Kids To Be Considerate
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Teaching children to be considerate

This is a big thing these days, that children are caring and considerate for each other. We think if we don't see it there, we must do something about it. In fact, many schools are making this their mandate, along with academics. Programs are coming up for parenting. We forget that nature, the developmental process, is the biggest player here. Empathy comes from two places; caring and considerateness. Caring is instinctive. All animals care about that which they are attached to. It's a wonderful response. If there is a problem with caring, it is one of two reasons; either we are not attached in the right way to the right people, or we become defended against it. You hear it in a child's voice, "I don't care." "It doesn't matter." It's a result of emotional desensitization. The answer is that they need to get their feelings back. They need the right relationship in terms of caring. Considerateness is very interesting. It is the key of neuroscience now. That discovery that this is a crowning touch of all development, is to actually feel conflicting feelings, emotions, and thoughts in us. The prefrontal cortex plays a huge part in this. We actually cannot consider another person's point of view, at the same time we are considering our own, until we have our double feelings about that person. Part of me wants to play, but part of me doesn't want him to yell at me. When I experience this, I now developmentally, to consider context, to consider others. This doesn't happen until 5 to 7 years of age. It takes years to develop that consideration. The point here is that it doesn't need to be taught. What we need to do is create the conditions conducive to it being taught.

Gordon Neufeld, PhD Psychologist & Author, shares advice for parents on how to teach your children to be considerate and caring to others


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Gordon Neufeld, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Dr. Gordon Neufeld is a Vancouver-based developmental psychologist with over 40 years of experience with children and youth and those responsible for them. A foremost authority on child development, Dr. Neufeld is an international speaker, a bestselling author, Hold On to Your Kids and a leading interpreter of the developmental paradigm. Dr. Neufeld has a widespread reputation for making sense of complex problems and for opening doors for change. While formerly involved in university teaching and private practice, he now devotes his time to teaching and training others, including educators and helping professionals. His Neufeld Institute is now a worldwide organization devoted to applying developmental science to the task of raising children. Dr. Neufeld appears regularly on radio and television. He is a father of five and a grandfather of three.

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