A Loving Mother with Children

Compassionate parenting likely to lead to more generous kids ─Study

*Researchers say these findings highlight the positive benefits associated with both generosity and compassionate parenting from an early age

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Researchers from the University of California at Davis, in the United States, in a new study have explored what effect certain parenting styles can have on kids’ generosity as they grow to adulthood.

The study findings revealed that four-and six-year-olds were more likely to be more generous than their peers when their mothers were more compassionate and empathetic.

In researching into the idea of giving attitude, the researchers had 74 four-year-olds and their mothers involved in the study to determine how parental dynamics could affect kids’ generosity.

While the mothers completed surveys that assessed how they display compassion to their kids, the children completed various activities and received tokens at the end of each one.

According to the researchers, when the activities were over, the kids were told that they could either trade their tokens in for a prize or donate their tokens to other kids going through difficult experiences.

This experiment was repeated again, two years later, and in both instances, the kids wore heart rate monitors so the researchers could gauge their biological responses.

In both trials, the researchers discovered very similar results: kids were more likely to be generous when their mothers were more compassionate.

Researcher Paul Hastings said: “At both ages, children with better physiological regulation and with mothers who expressed stronger compassionate love were likely to donate more of their earnings.

“Compassionate mothers likely develop emotionally close relationships with their children while also providing an early example of pro-social orientation towards the needs of others.”

The study also found that being more generous had significant biological benefits for the kids.

Based on their heart monitor readings, the researchers learned that the more tokens the children donated after the activities, the less anxious and stressed they were at the end of the experiment.

Going forward, the researchers hope that these findings highlight the benefits associated with both generosity and compassionate parenting.


“Being in a calmer state after sharing could reinforce the generous behavior that produced that good feeling,” Hastings said.

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