Save Our Country: Raise Nice Kids

I found this surprising.

Well, maybe not.  But maybe not.  According to a new study, parents are raising their kids to achieve or be happy, the Washington Post relates.

What's wrong with that?  They're not valuing caring for others.

About 80 percent of the youth in the study said their parents were more concerned with their achievement or happiness than whether they cared for others. The interviewees were also three times more likely to agree that “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my classes than if I’m a caring community member in class and school.”

Why is this important? Because if we want our children to be moral people, we have to, well, raise them that way, right?

 We've certainly seen enough of the kids who make fun of others for being different, or because they don't wear the right sneakers, or live in the right neighborhood.  And isn't this, at the head of it all, where bullying comes from?

I guess you can't teach morality or empathy if you don't have it yourself.  And that's also something kids learn from their parents.

One of the most important things I taught my son when he was little was to do the right thing.  That meant picking up the box of noodles that fell on the floor while we were walking by in the grocery store.  Telling the cashier she gave you back too much change (and for me, hardly a math wizard, that was big).   Having lunch with the kid who sat by himself.  I was never prouder than when Phillip moved several seats down the cafeteria table so he could talk to the kid who didn't know anyone else.

And this was in high school.

Yes, I still don't always let other cars merge, and do rush to be first in line when we go out to dinner in the summer and I want our table on the patio.  But I'm getting better.  I'm letting people get in front of me in line at the grocery store if they only have a few items (one day I let three!).  And I don't bark, "You're welcome!" when I hold the door and the person doesn't say thank you.  Well, got to work on that one.

But Phillip is noticing it.  "You let that car in?" he said the other day, astonishment in his voice.


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