Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Is “Selfish” Genetic?

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.

Advertisement

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

A Super Bowl Outcome You May Not Like
Super Bowl week! Yes, we are obsessed with the game. And part of that obsession includes our Super Bowl menu. But what if I told you that your menu and eating habits are influenced by the game. Super Bowl  has an eating outcome you may not ...

posted 7:00:32am Feb. 05, 2016 | read full post »

Conflict? Who Should Make the First Move?
Hannah hadn't spoken to her mother for a month and the tension between them could be cut with a knife. It was Saturday morning and Hannah was contemplating picking up the phone and making a call. She wanted to resolve the problem. But here ...

posted 7:00:31am Feb. 03, 2016 | read full post »

Fighting with a Narcissist
Rich and Sharon have constant fights, and the fights take on a common pattern. Sharon is dating a narcissist. The key traits of a narcissist are to be self-centered, need to be admired, be right, not admit fault and feel superior. All of ...

posted 7:00:58am Feb. 02, 2016 | read full post »

Dad's Anxiety Could Affect His Unborn Child!
Blog Question: My husband is very anxious about the birth of our second child. He is feeling the economic pressure of our expanding family and worries about everything. He is making me anxious because of his state of distress. What can I tell ...

posted 7:00:09am Jan. 29, 2016 | read full post »

Who is Deciding If Your Child is ADHD?
I've been in practice for over 20 years and worked in a center for ADHD. One of our goals was to make sure the right kids were correctly diagnosed when it came to ADHD. Great care was taken to do the proper assessments that help make the ...

posted 7:00:22am Jan. 27, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.