Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Is “Selfish” Genetic?

posted by Linda Mintle

Two toddlers are at play: Timmy hands his truck to his friend, “Here you can play with it.”

But Ricky hangs on to that truck for dear life. “No it is mine!”

Is the difference genetic?

In an Israeli study reported in the Wall Street Journal, researchers found that kids who didn’t share had a gene variation in common. The gene, AVPRIA, regulates a hormone in the brain associated with social behaviors like sharing. The noted genetic variation was associated with an unwillingness to share.

But don’t get too worried by this finding because altruism, or sharing, seems to be more controlled by environment. Positive reinforcement of sharing and altruistic behavior brings out those behaviors in children.  Generosity can be habit forming and learned. It engages the reward circuits of the brain and releases feel good transmitters.

The researchers also discovered that generosity increases as children grow and mature and develop stronger ideas of morality and fairness.

So if you want to encourage less selfishness in your child, praise his or her character when he or she shares.

Try these five suggestions:

1) Encourage sharing and activities that benefit others

2) Talk about how people feel in order to teach empathy

3) Praise a child’s character when he or she shows signs of goodness

4) Discuss consequences of behavior when a child is selfish–how the other person may feel

5) Model sharing and concern for others



Previous Posts

Adrian Peterson: When Does Spanking Become Abuse?
This week has been filled with reports about NFL Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's accusation of reckless or negligent injury to his four-year-old son. The incident has once again raised the controversy surrounding the use of corporal punishment. Three issues are key in this deba

posted 6:00:52am Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Would You Allow Your Teen to Have Sex in Your House?
A friend of mine was having coffee with me and mentioned something that took me aback. Someone we know is allowing her son's girlfriend to live in the house with them and have sex under their roof. Neither of these "kids" are 21 and the family claims to be Christian. Honestly, I don't understand!

posted 6:00:33am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Does Porn Affect Your Relationship?
During an evening talk show  there were plenty of jokes about pornography. And as the host and celebrity guest settled down, it was evident, porn, in their opinions, is no big deal.  If fact, many of the tabloids and even a few respected marital therapists, will tell you that a little porn is fi

posted 6:00:38am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

5 Ways to Live in Financial Harmony
Money can't buy you love but it sure can make love difficult. Especially if you are in a relationship and not managing your money well. When it comes to money, here are 5 tips to live in relationship harmony: 1) Decide how your credit cards will be used when you enter a relationship. One person

posted 6:00:28am Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Understanding Depression: Let's Keep Talking
This week, Janet Parshall had me on her radio show, In The Market, to talk about a topic the church and society have  a great deal of trouble discussing--depression. The phone lines were constantly lit up. People wanted and needed to talk. Emails were sent asking for help. With  1 out of 10 peo

posted 6:00:22am Sep. 10, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.