The Atlantic

Why Kids Care More About Achievement Than Helping Others

A new study suggests that parents and teachers may be sending kids the wrong message.
Source: Bonita Cooke / Getty

A new study from Harvard University reveals that the message parents mean to send children about the value of empathy is being drowned out by the message we actually send: that we value achievement and happiness above all else.

The project at Harvard’s surveyed 10,000 middle and high school students about what was more important to them, “achieving at a high level, happiness, or caring for others.” Almost 80 percent of students ranked achievement or happiness over caring for others. Only 20 percent of students

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