viernes, 14 de julio de 2017

When parents value selflessness, so most likely will their children | MercatorNet | July 14, 2017 | MercatorNet |

When parents value selflessness, so most likely will their children

| MercatorNet | July 14, 2017 | MercatorNet |

When parents value selflessness, so most likely will their children

But such virtues have to be taught, not just caught, a study shows.
Helena Adeloju | Jul 13 2017 | comment 

Parents who teach their children to be helpful and caring towards others are the most successful at imparting their values to their children, according to a study published in the British Journal of Psychology.
The study, Parent-child values similarity in families with young children: The predictive power of prosocial educational goals, found that “the more parents wanted their children to endorse values of self-transcendence and the less parents wanted their children to endorse the opposing values of self-enhancement, the more similar their children were to them.”
This is good news for parents who are consciously training their children to think of others, because, as the study found, the parents who have the greatest success in transmitting their values are those who have specific educational goals for them.
Parents who focused on teaching their children to understand and practice educational goals associated with helping, supporting and caring for others achieved a strong bond based on parent-child values similarity, while parents who focussed on self-enhancement educational goals such as striving for power and achievement were found to have less similarity with their children’s values.
According to the research, parents act as socialising agents “that not only transmit the values they personally favour but also the values they perceive to be important in society, acting as filters to societal values.” In this way they may actually influence “the prevailing shared societal values.”
Interestingly, “parents who wanted their children to embrace self-transcendence values but not self-enhancement values were not only more successful in transmitting their country’s values (macro-level), but also more successful in transmitting additional unique values (mirco-level).”
The study’s review of existing literature on the subject identified a variety of mechanisms which helped parents to successfully share their values with their children:
  • Explicitly teaching values -- for example, by explaining values to the child.
  • Everyday routines -- by modeling desired behaviour.
  • Provision of opportunities -- letting the child be successful and complimenting them thereafter for achievement of values.
  • Genetic similarity.
Self-transcendent values which were successfully transmitted to children by their parents were categorised using Schwart’s model of values and exemplary items from the Picture Based Survey for Children:
  • Universalism – for example, to make friends with strangers
  • Benevolence – to help others
  • Tradition – to think of God
  • Conformity – to observe the rules
  • Security – to be safe
Self-enhancement values which resulted in a lack of similarity in parent-child values included:
  • Self-direction – for example, to discover new things
  • Stimulation -- to do exciting things
  • Hedonism -- to enjoy life
  • Achievement -- to be the best
  • Power -- to be powerful.
That parents were less successful in transferring the latter values to their children could be because living out self-enhancement values intentionally leaves little time for others -- including children themselves, who require self-transcendent attention from parents. This kind of focus would hardly be an inspiration for a child to adopt values which have not served him/her well in a parent-child relationship.
On the other hand this research shows that selflessness really does trump selfishness when seen through the eyes of a child.
Helena Adeloju is a free lance journalist based in Melbourne


July 14, 2017

A couple of days ago when I first saw the New York Times headline “You should not have let your baby die” I thought it must be a piece supporting the parents of Charlie Gard. In fact, the moving personal memoir turned out to be a plea, not for allowing severely sick babies to live, but to end their lives. “You should have killed your baby,” was the grotesque punch-line at the end.

It was, as Michael Cook points out in an article below, a powerfully emotive piece, written with the Charlie Gard case in mind, though carefully not mentioning it, and appearing to put the Times’ stamp of approval on infanticide.

Not that removing life support from Charlie would be infanticide. No, but the Times op-ed sends the message that, if a damaged baby escapes abortion and survives birth, supporting his life and then letting him die is a terrible business; it is much more humane to give the poor little mite a lethal dose.

A highly emotive piece, about one man’s experience – when? – designed to change or settle your mind in a certain way, and it’s wrong, wrong, wrong.

Carolyn Moynihan 
Deputy Editor, 

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When parents value selflessness, so most likely will their children

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