- Praising their character helped them internalize it as part of their identities. The children learned who they were from observing their own actions: I am a helpful person.
- Praise appears to be particularly influential in the critical periods when children develop a stronger sense of identity. By the time children turned 10, the differences between praising character and praising actions vanished: Both were effective. Tying generosity to character appears to matter most around age 8, when children may be starting to crystallize notions of identity.
- Shame makes children feel small and worthless, and they respond either by lashing out at the target or escaping the situation altogether. When children feel guilt, they tend to experience remorse and regret, empathize with the person they have harmed, and aim to make it right.
- Parents raise caring children by expressing disappointment and explaining why the behavior was wrong, how it affected others, and how they can rectify the situation.
- Children learn generosity not by listening to what their role models say, but by observing what they do.
Raising a Moral Child