Kids Today Focused on Winning at All Costs

Harvard researcher Rick Weissbourd found a high percentage of children showed more concern with achievement than being a good person. Learn more at Makingcaringcommon.org.
3:19 | 06/25/14

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Transcript for Kids Today Focused on Winning at All Costs
Finally in the heat index, are kids growing up with the wrong message. While we want them to learn kindness and caring, the new report says that's not what they're getting from their parents. Debra has more now. Reporter: This is a revelation that parents, including this one, will want to think about. Rethink our priorities. Kids say we're just pushing them to succeed with little regard to the feelings of others around them. That's abbey, she's the best in class, she's the competition. I've never wanted to meet a kid so badly. Reporter: Ask any parent or kid, you'll learn it's a jungle out there. Stick it. And that competitive drive to achieve and overachieve may be creating a generation focused on winning at all costs. There's just a lot of anxiety about achieve. Parents have a lot of anxiety about their kids not achieving the same station they achieved. Reporter: And the coauthor of the new report, the children we need to raise, parents may mean to raise caring, empathetic kids, most are sending the wrong message. A high percentage of kids saying their achievement is more important to them and their parents than being a good person. Reporter: Could that be true? We sat down with kids ages 11 to 17. In all honesty, show of hands, who is more concerned about achievement? Okay. And who is more concerned with caring for others? They said they want to help those in need, but they're too swamped trying to make varsity teams and get into top colleges. A few times my mom said why don't you donate time, you're so fortunate. And I was just kind of like, I don't know how to fit it in. You see someone on the street, I want to help them, but where do I find time in my schedule? Reporter: And a troubling discovery in the report, half admit to cheating on a test, and three out of four admit to copying homework. What is a caring parent to do? These moms and a dad say it's challenging to raise successful kids who care about their own happiness let alone that of others. I want them to be happy, but not worry about paying the mortgage. Reporter: They need not lose hope, caring is not high on the list, it's not off the radar. I think once I'm out of college and 30 or 35 -- 30 or 35, when you get old. Yeah. He doesn't have to wait -- by doing the age-old walk the talk. If kids see that you're concerned at home, they're likely to make it a priority. Because kids watch what we do. I spoke with a dad of a 7-year-old doing a fundraiser for an ill neighbor, somebody he's caring about, it's a big topic in the household. That's what you do now. And because you say it, but you have to do it to show. You have to do it. When Kate had the lemonade stand and raising money. All her idea. On any given week, it could be elephants in Africa, or a neighbor. Caring, she does get that message. It's important. Thank you. We are going out to ginger

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