Many parents place a strong emphasis on their kids’ academic performance and extracurricular involvement, such as by making sure they study, complete their homework, and arrive on time for soccer or dance practice. But far too frequently, we neglect to invest time and energy in fostering another aspect of a child’s success and development—one that is just as crucial, if not more so—that of being a good person. It can be simple to overlook how crucial it is to fight the messages of instant gratification, consumerism, and selfishness that are pervasive in our culture. One of the most fundamental characteristics of good people is emotional intelligence and empathy, or the capacity to put oneself in another person’s shoes and take into account their feelings and thoughts. According to studies, one of the keys to success in life is having a high emotional quotient—that is, being able to comprehend one’s own emotions as well as those of others. Encourage your child to express her feelings and let her know you care about them if you want to help them develop empathy. Ask her to consider how her friend might be feeling when there is a disagreement with a friend. Then, model for her how to control her emotions and work constructively toward a solution. The truth is that many children quietly carry out good deeds in the normal course of their lives, whether it’s cheering up a friend when he’s down or helping out at a community center, despite the fact that stories about children engaging in bullying and other bad behavior frequently make headlines. Be sure to discuss the negative effects that behaviors like gossiping or bullying have on both sides, as well as why and how it hurts people, as you encourage positive behaviors like doing something to brighten someone else’s day.