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Research: Families Should Spend More Time Teaching Kids Kindness

Parents can sometimes be a bit obsessive about their kids — their friends, their grades, their activities, their everything.

But new research of parents in upper-middle-class families suggests they should obsess less about their kids’ grades, and spend more time teaching kindness and social skills — and that failing to do so could be to the detriment of their child’s future success.

Suniya Luthar is foundation professor of psychology at ASU and one of the researchers of this paper, which was published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Luthar tells me about this seeming paradox between parents prioritizing achievement and being a good person.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.