As children grow older they acquire social behaviors, however, it is very important that parents help to promote social skills in children.
It is that ability that will allow them to relate to others, communicate with them and also with their environment. They are skills that are learned naturally from the early stages of childhood but that we parents can stimulate and encourage.
When I think of altruism or prosocial behaviors, an inspiring movie called "Chain of favours”. If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend that you do so. In it the meaning of giving or collaborating with another is perfectly portrayed. That selfless dedication that drives us to go beyond ourselves.
One of the characters in the film asks his students: What does the world expect of you? What would you do to change the world? " These questions provoke a strong impulse in a young student who decides to start generating significant favors for strangers. These significant favors are precisely what researchers call prosocial behaviors, which are all positive social behavior that is performed for the benefit of another person. It is they who need to pay attention to our children.
These behaviors have an important link with cognitive and moral development. For this reason, some 2 or 3 year olds find it difficult to borrow their toys or even some hit, because this fact is a demonstration of their growth process. Apart from avoiding these actions, the important thing is to be able to guide that hostile behavior, showing that you cannot harm another and that it is important to share.
Through that speech, little by little children will be able to incorporate norms that are within what is known as moral development. This process of our mind corresponds to a progressive sequence of periods that, over time, change as cognitive development increases. To make it clearer, let's look at this example: for a 5-year-old, stealing is bad and always will be. However, for a teenager stealing is sometimes not bad, because perhaps the individual stole in order to feed his family. His moral development changed hand in hand with his growth.
As parents, what things can we do to increase and enhance social behaviors in children ?:
1. Educate by exampleAs the children see that the parents' story is consistent with their actions, then there is a positive effect where they want to imitate that behavior. Remember that non-verbal language has more repercussions than verbal according to various investigations on the subject. If your children see you doing prosocial behaviors it is easier for them to do it too.
2- Avoid the sermon and favor inspiration. It may be that some parents may confuse lecturing with motivating. Neuroscience knows that as we get excited we can better incorporate learning. So the idea is to find the right words and the right moment, so that the children can be inspired to carry out altruistic behavior. that is not from the imposition but from the full freedom and inspiration ask ourselves: What is inspiration when we want to offer help to another person?
3- Use an inductive or democratic disciplinary style. That is, the rules are explained, they reflect with the children on the importance of their existence. In this way, we invite our children to be able to discern what is good and what is bad, to know the negative consequences of their actions and above all to know what is the role that this certain rule fulfills within the house, what is its founding reason .
4- Teach your child to ask for help when he needs it. It encourages collaborative and team work, because we cannot always do everything. Sometimes asking for help is a sign of greatness. Thus we educate in the awareness of personal limits,
5- Stimulate self-control, so that our children can manage their negative emotions such as anger, since sometimes it can lead to aggressive behaviors towards others or even towards themselves. It is essential to use tools such as meditation or mindfulness to be able to channel aggression. It is crucial that as parents we can avoid yelling or angry behavior, because children and adolescents learn through the process of imitation. If they see that we are not able to properly manage our emotions, then the possibility that they do so is almost nil. To avoid this, it is recommended that as parents we have self-care spaces, where emotions can calm down and calm down.
Following these practices, we will surely transform ourselves as the teacher who inspired the protagonist of "Cadena de Favores." The child will be able to see in us a flame that invites us to set the world on fire through generosity and respect for the other. And in this way, we will be, together with our children, lights - like those of the lanterns - that guide the actions of others.
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