Heroes not only take another’s perspective, they also act on it. People who rush in to help others in need do so because they genuinely care about the safety and well-being of others, and they are not thinking of themselves at that moment. Set a standard of kindness and reinforce it with “random acts of kindness” in your home. Monitor and reward these acts with a weekend prize for the whole family.
Heroes believe they have something to offer when they act. For example, when speaking up for a bullied peer or stopping a child from running out into traffic, heroes are able to manage stress and keep focused while acting. The best way to instill confidence is to give your child opportunities to genuinely shine. Not the kind that are handed out at the end of a soccer season where every team member gets medal; rather, acts like completing a challenging chore, solving a difficult math problem, or additional responsibility like caring for a younger sibling.
Parenting Tip: Parents that role-model heroic qualities give a child a wonderful gift: the ability to watch and learn heroic behavior from his ultimate heroes, his parents.
Dr. Kate Roberts is a psychologist and parent coach on the North Shore. Questions can be directed to www.drkateroberts.com, www.twitter.com/DrKateParenting, www.facebook.com/Dr.KateRoberts or www.pinterest.com/DrKateParenting.