Tag Archives: Health

Think of Your Relationship Like a Bank Account by Dr. John Gottman

Dr. John Gottman is at it again with a fantastic angle on relationships.
Think about your relationship like a bank account — a kind of trust, that, if consistently funded with deposits of positivity, will keep your marriage in the “black” your whole life through.

Couples can fight a little, or a lot, and still be happy.
A couple can be bad at communication/conflict resolution and still be happy (arguments can get heated and violate at least half of the rules of “clean communication). Learning the ins and outs of “clean” communication and how to effectively make your needs known in a relationship can indeed be beneficial.

Gottman’s research shows that couples lose their tempers, don’t practice “active listening,” don’t couch their complaints in “I” statements — but are still happy.

High expectations – good for your marriage.
Donald Baucom of the University of North Carolina has found that people with the greatest expectations for their marriage usually wind up with the highest-quality marriages. You are far more likely to achieve the kind of marriage you want.

Nearly 70% of marital conflicts are perpetual and unresolvable — they’re ongoing and last the couple’s entire lifetime. Spouses tend to butt heads over the same things year, after year, after year. Gottman’s research says that friction is a natural part of the ying and yang of life in general and that some negativity in a marriage is actually healthy.

As long as it’s balanced by positive aspects.
Gottman formulated a ratio for stability and happiness: 5:1. A couple that has at least five times more positive interactions than negative ones will ultimately succeed. Gottman calls this dynamic “positive sentiment override”.

If a couple’s relationship bank account is running low on “funds” (there’s been more negative interactions for a while than positive ones), then each “withdrawal” (conflict) brings the balance on the account closer and closer to zero, or even towards an “overdraft.” Thus each argument feels weighty and fraught with peril — like it’s moving the relationship towards the brink of “bankruptcy” — a break-up or divorce.

If a couple’s account is overflowing with positivity, on the other hand, then they can afford to make occasional “withdrawals” without any danger of the funds going into deficit. Since there’s an ample safety cushion in place, when a withdrawal is made, it doesn’t feel like the stakes are all that serious. An argument is just a dumb argument, and nothing more.

The difference between couples in “positive sentiment override” as opposed to “negative sentiment override,” is that while the former “communicate to each other every emotion in the spectrum, including anger, irritability, disappointment, and hurt, they also communicate their fundamental fondness and respect. Whatever issue they are discussing, they give each other the message that they are loved and accepted, ‘warts and all.’”

Gottman reports that one of the ways an ample relationship bank account most crucially strengthens a marriage is in the way it leads to the quicker and more frequent use of “repair attempts.” Repair attempts are little signals in the form of gestures or words — a smile, a laugh, an apology — by which one partner tries to break the tension of a conflict and keep it from spiralling out of control. In turn, when a couple’s relationship bank account is flush, the partner on the receiving end of a repair attempt is more likely to recognise it as such, and respond in kind. If you’ve ever had a heated argument with your significant other in which she smiled, then you smiled, and then you both laughed and were able to calm down and talk things out normally, then you’ve experienced how a repair attempt operates.

Couples with well-funded accounts can squabble and yet have so much positivity left over, they retain their love, admiration, and fondness for each other; they can fight and still like one another plenty.

As long as you keep a reserve of positivity in place, you can fight “poorly” and still remain thoroughly committed and smitten with one another. How “good” you fight simply isn’t as important as the overall goodness in your marriage. This is quite advantageous, and a real relief, because, let’s face it, it’s hard to remember to make “I” statements when you’re about to blow your top.

You don’t have to divide up and work on each of your conflicts/issues separately. In fact, you don’t necessarily have to try to resolve your sticky conflicts at all — another relief when the vast majority would never have been solvable in the first place! People rarely change; they can get a little better in managing their flaws, and together you can learn strategies for coping with them, but an issue that’s there at the start of marriage will probably be there until your golden years.

When your relationship bank account is in the black, your disappointment with your partner not living up to this or that expectation will largely be overridden by your admiration, respect, and fondness for the things they do well and that you cherish. While you do lower your expectations in some areas, you raise them in others, so that you still have an elevated, grateful, optimistic view of your marriage.

Though the bank account approach to marriage makes it possible to live with conflict instead of fixing it, it does sometimes resolve issues outright. And it does so indirectly, without spouses having to work on the problem directly.

A good example of this is sex. If there are problems in the bedroom — say, one spouse feels like sex isn’t happening enough — simply talking about its lack of frequency is often a less effective approach to addressing the issue than what Gottman recommends: “Instead of isolating sex from the rest of your relationship, try a change in attitude. Stop thinking that sex is about orgasm and consider everything positive that happens between you as part of sex.” A reserve of positivity can go a long way towards enhancing what goes on the bedroom — and do so naturally and indirectly; as the slogan Gottman puts on t-shirts and mugs at his clinic declares:

“Every Positive Thing You Do in Your Relationship Is Foreplay.”

When you view your relationship like a bank account, instead of working on what’s wrong with it, you strengthen what’s right, so that the positives overwhelm the negatives, diminishing their significance and impact on your love and happiness.

“The key to reviving or divorce-proofing a relationship is not simply how you handle your disagreements but how you engage with each other when you’re not fighting.” By setting up a kind of insurance policy during the good times, you can weather the bad ones, and even prevent some storms from arising in the first place.

The real beauty of the “bank account” approach to a sustaining a healthy, happy, stable marriage, is that it doesn’t require working directly “on” the relationship. Instead, you set up a trust fund that you and she each contribute to, which in turn produces dividends that flow back into your relationship. And as we’ll see, making deposits to this fund is more enjoyment than work.

2 Basic Traits of Lasting Relationships – Dr. John Gottman


Share

Man Up Series – All 3 Episodes – About Masculinity & Men’s Mental Health (Australia)

Episode 1 – Gus Worland embarks on a rollicking journey into the world of masculinity – from man hugs to cattle mustering to modelling the latest fashion trends. But he discovers the pressure to toughen up may be making Aussie men crack.

Episode 2 – Gus Worland is fired up to discover the secrets for men to survive in the modern world. He travels to meet the men who are making a difference, saving lives and redefining what it really means to ‘Man Up’.

Episode 3 – Gus Worland is fired up to discover the secrets for men to survive in the modern world. He travels to meet the men who are making a difference, saving lives and redefining what it really means to ‘Man Up’. (Final)

Bonus: Guante – Ten Responses to the Phrase ‘Man Up’

Guante – Ten Responses to the Phrase ‘Man Up’ … thanks Claudia

Click to get the DVD or watch online

Super secret Bonus – The Red Pill

Share

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

Click to get the book, ebook or audiobook

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
– Big up Mr. Money Moustache for the recommendation.
– Talks about mediocrity and all kinds of excuse-itis – health, age, intelligence.
– Use big and positive words and phrases everywhere especially with people.
– Mostly pretty basic stuff like using creativity, always be open, try different things, work smart, etc.

How to use the magic of thinking big in life’s most crucial situations
A. When Little People Try to Drive You Down, THINK BIG
B. When That “I-Haven’t-Got-What-It-Takes” Feeling Creeps Up on You, THINK BIG
C. When an Argument or Quarrel Seems Inevitable, THINK BIG.
D. When You Feel Defeated, THINK BIG.
E. When Romance Starts to Slip, THINK BIG
F. When You Feel Your Progress on the Job Is Slowing Down, THINK BIG

Contents
1 – Believe You Can Succeed and You Will
2 – Cure Yourself of Excusitis, the Failure Disease
3 – Build Confidence And Destroy Fear
4 – How To Think Big
5 – How To Think And Dream Creatively
6 – You Are What You Think You Are
7 – Manage Your Environment: Go First Class
8 – Make Your Attitudes Your Allies
9 – Think Right Toward People
10 – Get The Action Habit
11 – How To Turn Defeat Into Victory
12 – Use Goals To Help You Grow
13 – How To Think Like A Leader

Share

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

Click to get the book or ebook

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan
​Every chapter ends with a summary of the big ideas. Big up Charles Poliquin for the recommendation. The main point of the book which you should ask for everything is ‘What’s the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?’. I thought just focusing on one thing was too simple or would be easy but it takes conscious practice.

Notes:
“Be like a postage stamp— stick to one thing until you get there” Josh Billings

Where I’d had huge success, I had narrowed my concentration to one thing, and where my success varied, my focus had too.

Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.

When one thing, the right thing, is set in motion, it can topple many things. (Example of small domino find front on consecutive bigger ones.

The ONE Thing becomes difficult because we’ve unfortunately bought into too many others—and more often than not those “other things” muddle our thinking, misguide our actions, and sidetrack our success. The real solutions we seek are almost always hiding in plain sight; unfortunately, they’ve usually been obscured by an unbelievable amount of bunk, an astounding flood of “common sense” that turns out to be nonsense.

Frog hot water, fish smelling from head down and burning ships stories are examples of non-truthiness. Repeat a lie long enough it starts sounding like truth.

THE SIX LIES BETWEEN YOU AND SUCCESS
Everything Matters Equally
Multitasking
A Disciplined Life
Willpower Is Always on Will-Call
A Balanced Life
Big Is Bad

While to-dos serve as a useful collection of our best intentions, they also tyrannize us with trivial, unimportant stuff that we feel obligated to get done—because it’s on our list. You don’t need a to do list you need a success list. Paretos principle/Jurans rule … 80:20 so from a to-do list, prioritise and it becomes a success list. And then ‘extreme Pareto’ it by narrowing down to just 1.

Multitasking is about multiple tasks alternately sharing one resource (the CPU), but in time the context was flipped and it became interpreted to mean multiple tasks being done simultaneously by one resource (a person). It was a clever turn of phrase that’s misleading, for even computers can process only one piece of code at a time.

It’s not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do, it’s that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have

Switching between two simple tasks—like watching television and folding clothes—is quick and relatively painless. However, if you’re working on a spreadsheet and a co-worker pops into your office to discuss a business problem, the relative complexity of those tasks makes it impossible to easily jump back and forth. It always takes some time to start a new task and restart the one you quit, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever pick up exactly where you left off. There is a price for this. (Something I kept telling a manager!)

If you were trying to talk a passenger through landing a DC-10, you’d stop walking. Likewise, if you were walking across a gorge on a rope bridge, you’d likely stop talking.

Researchers estimate we lose 28 percent of an average workday to multitasking ineffectiveness.

Once a new behavior becomes a habit, it takes less discipline to maintain.

The results suggest that it takes an average of 66 days to acquire a new habit. The full range was 18 to 254

WHAT TAXES YOUR WILLPOWER
Implementing new behaviours
Filtering distractions
Resisting temptation
Suppressing emotion
Restraining aggression
Suppressing impulses
Taking tests
Trying to impress others
Coping with fear
Doing something you don’t enjoy
Selecting long-term over short-term rewards
More on willpower in this posts – Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney

A balanced life is a lie, it doesn’t exist. Focusing on one means others will be neglected. Instead of balance, counterbalance. Like balancing 2 buckets.

When you’re supposed to be working, work, and when you’re supposed to be playing, play. It’s a weird tightrope you’re walking, but it’s only when you get your priorities mixed up that things fall apart.

“We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”
—Robert Brault

What’s the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

Think big and specific e.g. How can I double sales in 6 months.

There is a natural rhythm to our lives that becomes a simple formula for implementing the ONE Thing and achieving extraordinary results: purpose, priority, and productivity. Bound together, these three are forever connected and continually confirming each other’s existence in our lives. Their link leads to the two areas where you’ll apply the ONE Thing—one big and one small. Your big ONE Thing is your purpose and your small ONE Thing is the priority you take action on to achieve it. The most productive people start with purpose and use it like a compass. They allow purpose to be the guiding force in determining the priority that drives their actions.

Those in one group were told to visualize the outcome (like getting an “A” on an exam) and the others were asked to visualize the process needed to achieve a desired outcome (like all of the study sessions needed to earn that “A” on the exam). In the end, students who visualized the process performed better across the board—they studied earlier and more frequently and earned higher grades than those who simply visualized the outcome.

4 proven ways to battle distractions and keep your eye on your ONE Thing.
Build a bunker.
Store provisions.
Sweep for mines.
Enlist support.

Research that individuals with written goals were 39.5 percent more likely to succeed. But there’s more to the story. Individuals who wrote their goals and sent progress reports to friends were 76.7 percent more likely to achieve them. As effective as writing down your goals can be, simply sharing your progress toward your goals with someone regularly even just a friend, makes you almost twice as effective.

THE FOUR THIEVES OF PRODUCTIVITY
Inability to Say “No”
Fear of Chaos
Poor Health Habits
Environment Doesn’t Support Your Goals

CONTENTS
1. The ONE Thing
2. The Domino Effect
3. Success Leaves Clues

PART 1
THE LIES
THEY MISLEAD AND DERAIL US
4. Everything Matters Equally
5. Multitasking
6. A Disciplined Life
7. Willpower Is Always on Will-Call
8. A Balanced Life
9. Big Is Bad

PART 2
THE TRUTH
THE SIMPLE PATH TO PRODUCTIVITY
10. The Focusing Question
11. The Success Habit
12. The Path to Great Answers

PART 3
EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS
UNLOCKING THE POSSIBILITIES WITHIN YOU
13. Live with Purpose
14. Live by Priority
15. Live for Productivity
16. The Three Commitments
17. The Four Thieves
18. The Journey

Putting The ONE Thing to Work
On the Research
Index
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Resources
Copyright

Share

25 Ways to Win with People: How to Make Others Feel Like a Million Bucks by John C. Maxwell, Leslie Parrott

Click to get the book or ebook

25 Ways to Win with People: How to Make Others Feel Like a Million Bucks by John C. Maxwell, Leslie Parrott

Summary from – http://www.gowland.ca/25-ways-to-win-with-people

1: Start With Yourself

  • You can’t give what you don’t have.
  • Accept yourself as you are (RWG:God’s child), not trying to become what you are not.
    • Identify your insecurities and their source then hold them up to the truth.
    • RWG: What have these insecurities held me back from? Are there any opportunities I can still seize?
  • “Increase your value to others by solving as many of your problems as you can.”
    • Identify areas you need to improve in order to be more valuable to others and develop a plan to accomplish them.

2: The 30 Second Rule

Chapter Notes

  • Within the first 30 seconds of a conversation, say something encouraging to a person.
  • To be successful at this, you have to plan to do it.
  • People need attention, affirmation, and appreciation to be motivated to do what is good and right
  • Upon doing this regularly, people will light up when you simply walk into the room.
  • RWG: Praising the good things in a person increasingly draws them out of that person.

Implementing this habit:

  • Open up my calendar. Who are the people I will be meeting this week?
    • What can I say to them that will encourage them? What have they done for me? What have they done that is worthy of praise? Are they discouraged in any way?
  • Rehearse what I will say to them.

3: Let People Know You Need Them

Chapter Notes

  • People need to be needed. They need to know they helped at a meaningful level.
    • RWG: You may have to connect the dots for them.
  • “Who specifically can help me do a better job than I can do alone?”
  • “Who is just waiting to be asked to join in what I am doing?”

Implementing this habit:

  • Scan your calendar for events where you can let people know that you need them
  • Identify areas where you need help (either due to time or due to ability)
  • List the people who are involved in the same activities, and for each person, identify any strengths that are being underutilized

4: Create a Memory and Revisit It Often

Chapter Notes

  • Revisit existing memories with people
  • Plan experiences to commemorate milestones and create mementos.

Implementing this habit:

  • Who do I want to encourage and/or connect better with (people who work with me, people who work for me, my spouse)? Are there any upcoming events that I can use to create a memory?
  • What are some mile stones coming up that I can create an experience or a memento for?
  • What are some everyday things that I can turn into a memorable occasion?
  • What are some existing memories that I can revisit with someone?

5: Compliment People In Front Of Other People

  • When you compliment someone’s attitudes you can reinforce that attitude and make it more consistent.
  • Find/create opportunities to do so.
  • “Who can I spotlight in front of others?”

6: Give Others a Reputation to Uphold

Chapter Notes

  • Have a high opinion of people (Eg. Linda Eggers “represents me well”, John Hull is “Mr. Relationship”).
  • Back your high opinion up with action; give them responsibility and its associated privileges.
  • “Elite performers usually need 10 years of dedicated and consistent practice before they obtain any recognizable level off excellence,” but this can be cut dramatically if the performer sees that they are forming a recognizable reputation.
  • Start by asking “What is special/unique about this person?”
  • RWG: Most people have given themselves at least one negative name, or have accepted one from others. This will hinder them. Re-enforcing a positive reputation will give them something to live up to.

Implementing this habit:

  • For each organization where you are a leader, list all the people you lead. For each person list all theirs strengths and identify a strength that is unique among within that organization. Find a short phrase that captures that strength and start using it around them and about them.

7: Say the Right Words at the Right Time

  • Forget about what you want to say and ask yourself what you would like to hear if you were in the other’s shoes.

8: Encourage the Dreams of Others

  1. Ask others to share their dreams with you
  2. Affirm the person as well as the dream
  3. Ask about the challenges they must overcome to reach their dreams (RWG: This helps them solidify the steps they need to take to get there. Most people aren’t good at this.)
  4. Offer your assistance
  5. Regularly revisit their dream with them
  6. Return to Step 1

9: Pass the Credit on to Others

  • John Wooden, UCLA coach, taught his players when they scored a point to smile, wink, or nod at the player who gave them the pass.
  • Verbal praise in front of others is powerful, but written praise lasts.
  • Passing on credit changes the recipient’s brain chemistry and creates “and emotional stamp that forever associates you in their minds with their success.”
  • Ask yourself, “who has made me more successful than I would have been on my own?” Then pass on the credit.

10: Offer Your Very Best

  • Give beyond what is required of you.

11: Share a Secret With Someone

  • It makes the other feel special and valued and connected to you.
  • Let them know you are sharing it only because you trust them.

12: Mine the Gold of Good Intentions

  • Being suspicious of others causes me to behave differently toward them, and it makes interacting with them worse.
  • People generally give you what you expect from them.

13: Keep Your Eyes Off the Mirror

  • Serving others from a place of emotional health is a source of contentment.
  • RWG: “What are the needs of those closest to me that I could fill?” (Wife, family, friends, ministry, church, further out.)

14: Do For Others What They Can’t Do For Themselves

  • “The more I give away, the more I seem to get to give away.”
  1. Introduce others to people they can’t know on their own.
  2. Take others to places they can’t go on their own.
  3. Offer others opportunities they can’t reach on their own.
  4. Share ideas with others they don’t possess on their own.
  • Self determination theory: helping others reach their goals cements the relationship
  • What do I have to share? Who could benefit from it?

15: Listen With Your Heart

Chapter Notes:

  • Roadblocks to effective listening:
    • Distractions
    • Defensiveness / close-mindedness
    • Projection / assumptions
    • RWG: Unforgiveness
  • When someone feels I am understanding them, they will be more interested in understanding me, so don’t focus on getting your own point across.

Implementing this habit:

  • Is there anyone who I don’t get along with or would like a deeper relationship with?
  • Take a week for each of these questions and ask them every day:
    • Did I pay attention today?
    • Did I show I was listening today?
    • Did I seek to understand today?
    • Did I respond honestly and appropriately today?
    • Did I ask questions today?

16: Find the Keys to Their Hearts

  • What do they dream about, cry about, find joy in, value, believe to be their strengths?
  • Establish common ground.
  • “Turn the key only when you can add value to that person.”

17: Be the First to Help

  • A good question to ask is “How can I best serve this person?”

18: Add Value to People

  • Learn to value people
  • Learn what those closest to you value from you the most and deliver

19: Remember a Person’s Story

Chapter Notes:

  • The time taken in asking for and listening to someone’s story:
    1. will be entirely focussed on them: their dreams, disappointments, interests, etc..
    2. will be enjoyed by that person
    3. will give you insight into that person
    4. will build a stronger relationship
  • If asking these types of questions is awkward for you, start practicing on people you’re not likely to see again, like cab drivers, waitresses, people in line.
  • Don’t interrupt: replace “That reminds me of…” with “Go on” or “I see”
  • Repeat back what you heard, “Let me see if I understand…”
  • Bring up some aspect of the person’s story the next time you see him.

Implementing this habit:

  • Every day for a month, answer this question in your journal: “Did I interject my own annecdotes or opinion into someone else’s story today?”
  • Every day for a month, answer this question in your journal: “Who will I talk to today who I can ask for a story? Did I ask anyone for their story yesterday?”

20: Tell a Good Story

Chapter Notes

  • Tell us a story rather than just relaying the facts.
  • The goal is connecting and sharing yourself, not just making yourself look good.

Implementing this habit:

  • Ask “How did I convey facts today that I could have shared as a story?”
  • Ask “Did I tell stories today to make me look good rather than to better others?”

21: Give With No Strings Attached

  • I would not be where I am if others had not given freely to me; others need me to do the same for them.

22: Remember Your Mailman’s Name

  • S – Say the name 3 times in a convesation
  • A – Ask a question about the name (eg. spelling) or person
  • V – Visualize the person’s prominent physical or personality feature
  • E – End the conversation with the name
  • A person’s mood and self evaluation improve when another remembers him personally.

23: Point Out People’s Strengths

  • Every person has some ability they are good at (they are at least 1 in 10,000).
  • People are more highly motivated when working in an area of strength
  • RWG: People form an identity either out of their strengths or their weaknesses. Pointing out their strengths promotes the former, which in turn will make them more effective.

24: Write Notes of Encouragement

  • Take the time to handwrite personal notes on a regular basis.
  • A handwritten note is evidence of your investment in that person.
  • Written notes can have a long lasting effect; longer than an email.

25: Help People Win

  • When you help somebody win, you will be that person’s friend for life.
  • Focus on the process, not just on the win. Don’t just hand him the win, help him win so next time maybe he can win on his own.
Share

How to raise kinder, less entitled kids (according to science)

Author: Richard Weissbourd, a Harvard psychologist with the graduate school of education, and the Making Caring Common Project have come up with recommendations about how to raise children to become caring, respectful and responsible adults.

1. Make caring for others a priority

Why? Parents tend to prioritize their children’s happiness and achievements over their children’s concern for others. But children need to learn to balance their needs with the needs of others, whether it’s passing the ball to a teammate or deciding to stand up for friend who is being bullied.

How? Children need to hear from parents that caring for others is a top priority. A big part of that is holding children to high ethical expectations, such as honoring their commitments, even if it makes them unhappy. For example, before kids quit a sports team, band, or a friendship, we should ask them to consider their obligations to the group or the friend and encourage them to work out problems before quitting.

Try this
• Instead of saying to your kids: “The most important thing is that you’re happy,” say “The most important thing is that you’re kind.”
• Make sure that your older children always address others respectfully, even when they’re tired, distracted, or angry.
• Emphasize caring when you interact with other key adults in your children’s lives. For example, ask teachers whether your children are good community members at school.

2. Provide opportunities for children to practice caring and gratitude

Why? It’s never too late to become a good person, but it won’t happen on its own. Children need to practice caring for others and expressing gratitude for those who care for them and contribute to others’ lives. Studies show that people who are in the habit of expressing gratitude are more likely to be helpful, generous, compassionate, and forgiving—and they’re also more likely to be happy and healthy.

How? Learning to be caring is like learning to play a sport or an instrument. Daily repetition—whether it’s a helping a friend with homework, pitching in around the house, or having a classroom job—make caring second nature and develop and hone youth’s caregiving capacities. Learning gratitude similarly involves regularly practicing it.

Try this
• Don’t reward your child for every act of helpfulness, such as clearing the dinner table. We should expect our kids to help around the house, with siblings, and with neighbors and only reward uncommon acts of kindness.
• Talk to your child about caring and uncaring acts they see on television and about acts of justice and injustice they might witness or hear about in the news.
• Make gratitude a daily ritual at dinnertime, bedtime, in the car, or on the subway. Express thanks for those who contribute to us and others in large and small ways.

3. Expand your child’s circle of concern

Why? Almost all children care about a small circle of their families and friends. Our challenge is help our children learn to care about someone outside that circle, such as the new kid in class, someone who doesn’t speak their language, the school custodian, or someone who lives in a distant country.

How? Children need to learn to zoom in, by listening closely and attending to those in their immediate circle, and to zoom out, by taking in the big picture and considering the many perspectives of the people they interact with daily, including those who are vulnerable. They also need to consider how their
decisions, such as quitting a sports team or a band, can ripple out and harm various members of their communities. Especially in our more global world, children need to develop concern for people who live in very different cultures and communities than their own.

Try this
• Make sure your children are friendly and grateful with all the people in their daily lives, such as a bus driver or a waitress.
• Encourage children to care for those who are vulnerable. Give children some simple ideas for stepping into the “caring and courage zone,” like comforting a classmate who was teased.
• Use a newspaper or TV story to encourage your child to think about hardships faced by children in another country.

4. Be a strong moral role model and mentor

Why? Children learn ethical values by watching the actions of adults they respect. They also learn values by thinking through ethical dilemmas with adults, e.g. “Should I invite a new neighbor to my birthday party when my best friend doesn’t like her?”

How? Being a moral role model and mentor means that we need to practice honesty, fairness, and caring ourselves. But it doesn’t mean being perfect all the time. For our children to respect and trust us, we need to acknowledge our mistakes and flaws. We also need to respect children’s thinking and listen
to their perspectives, demonstrating to them how we want them to engage others.

Try this
• Model caring for others by doing community service at least once a month. Even better, do this service with your child.
• Give your child an ethical dilemma at dinner or ask your child about dilemmas they’ve faced.

5. Guide children in managing destructive feelings

Why? Often the ability to care for others is overwhelmed by anger, shame, envy, or other negative feelings.

How? We need to teach children that all feelings are okay, but some ways of dealing with them are not helpful. Children need our help learning to cope with these feelings in productive ways.

Try this
Here’s a simple way to teach your kids to calm down: ask your child to stop, take a deep breath through the nose and exhale through the mouth, and count to five. Practice when your child is calm. Then, when you see her getting upset, remind her about the steps and do them with her. After a while she’ll start to do it on her own so that she can express her feelings in a helpful and appropriate way.


Share