Conveying values to the children around you may seem like a daunting task. If you want to be successful, you will always have to be confident and resolute and continually address the subject with your children. You could also engage in activities with them and launch challenges that help to imprint certain moral principles.
Method 1 of 3: Lead by example
Step 1. Behave in a manner consistent with what you say
It is essential to put into practice the values you want to convey in your daily life. Adults must act as role models, because children are inclined to learn through emulation.
- If you preach well and scratch badly, you send your children mixed messages.
- For example, if you want your children to learn the concepts of cooperation and compassion, you could encourage them to share their games. However, if they saw you taking something that belongs to someone else or you refuse to share something of yours, they could easily doubt the importance of those values.
Step 2. Tell about episodes from your childhood
Talk about your life when you were their age. Explain the difficulties you have encountered and the successes you have achieved as you strengthen your current value system.
- Make sure you are telling true stories and avoid overdoing the details.
- For example, tell the child about the time you tried to get smart with a school assignment. If you have resisted the temptation, explain your reasons and how your honesty has been positively reflected. If you haven't resisted the temptation, talk about the negative consequences.
Step 3. Clarify your core beliefs
If your values stem from a religious faith, for example, communicate that faith to your children. It is important that they understand where your values come from, to understand their importance.
It is especially helpful to introduce children to a community that shares your moral principles, such as the church. That way they will have other examples to follow
Step 4. Identify all who represent an example
You can't - and shouldn't - completely protect children from outside influences. You should, however, know the influences, positive and negative, that have an impact on your child's psychological evolution.
- Those who play a central role in the child's life are the teachers, friends, and relatives of friends.
- Learn about the beliefs and values these people are attached to.
- You should not forbid your children to interact with someone with different values, but talk to them after they have spent time with a particular person, to make sure they have not been infected by negative influences.
Step 5. Stimulate accountability through discipline
When your child breaks the rules or ignores a value, show him that his behavior is not correct by giving a punishment commensurate with the prank he has committed.
The punishments must be chosen based on the extent of the error. For example, taking the last piece of cake that was due to another family member is less serious than cheating on a school test, so the punishment for the first prank should be lower than that for the second
Step 6. Dedicate yourself to them
Your children won't be able to learn some values if you neglect them. Spending time with them shows that it is important to take care of others, and offers the opportunity to learn through your example.
Often children who behave badly from an early age do so only to attract attention. If you show that correct behavior attracts attention as much as incorrect behavior, if not more, then they will learn to behave well
Step 7. Offer your support
Growing up is difficult. Children will encounter a lot of difficulties as they grow up, and they will inevitably make some mistakes. Show them that they can count on your unconditional love to come to you for advice when they are grappling with issues that confront them with important choices.
Method 2 of 3: Talk about Values
Step 1. Ask them some thought-provoking questions
When you talk about values with your children, ask questions that lead them to reflect on the subject. Avoid being too explicit. The lesson will be more absorbed if you let them draw their own conclusions.
- For example, instead of saying "He shouldn't have lied to his friends like that", ask "Do you think what he did was wrong?" or "How do you think he should have handled the situation?"
- By asking questions, you can spark an interesting conversation. You also urge them to mull over important issues, and the conclusions they draw for themselves will most likely remain more etched than those drawn by others.
Step 2. Listen to them and encourage them to ask you questions
Listen to their doubts and problems. Be determined, but be open-minded. The questions show interest in the topic.
If your child questions a value that you have passed on to him from an early age, try to be patient. If you overreact, the child will rebel further. If you approach the matter calmly, it will be easier for him to welcome your opinion
Step 3. Speak, don't preach
You have to be an authoritative figure, but at the same time you have to talk about values in a serene way, so that the children feel comfortable. Most people - especially children - are more receptive to information shared during the dialogue, rather than to those imposed from the top of a podium.
- When your child does something wrong, briefly explain his mistake and give him adequate punishment. Don't start preaching while you are still angry and upset.
- On the contrary, wait until both of you have calmed down. Rather than insisting on your disappointment, talk about the trust you have placed in him and how you would like him to behave in the future.
Step 4. Talk about your expectations
Many values are personal and must develop from within, but you can set rules for externalizing these values. Establish them and make sure your children understand them.
The desire to please one's parents by meeting their expectations is quite instinctive. If you set expectations that involve constructive values, your child will most likely tend to meet them
Step 5. Talk often
The more often you talk about the beliefs and values you want to convey, the more natural those values will seem. Frequent dialogue is a good way to reinforce some concepts.
It is important to talk when your child behaves well or in a neutral way. If you talk about values only when he behaves badly, the argument could easily take on a negative connotation
Step 6. Speak to him affectionately
Let the children know you love them. Tell him this every day. When children know they are loved, it is easier for them to understand that your expectations and the values you try to convey are aimed at their good.
Showing affection is very important, but it is also necessary to always say words of love
Method 3 of 3: Leverage Daily Activities
Step 1. Read the appropriate books
Over the centuries, many moral principles and values have been transmitted through the stories. Read books that communicate your own values.
- Fairy tales are a great choice when children are small.
- When children are still in their developmental stage, the best books are those in which the line between right and wrong is clearly defined.
- Books that deal with more sensitive topics should be avoided as long as the child develops a solid moral foundation.
Regardless of the book, it is preferable to read it together or have a thorough understanding of it before the child reads it alone. This will make it easier for you to talk about the content of the book and answer any questions you may have.
Step 2. Try to be selective in your choice of programs
Limit your viewing of some movies and TV shows. It would be preferable to limit the time of these forms of entertainment.
- Even the best programs do not have the same value that active learning offers. Children learn more through practical experience, rather than through passive observation.
- Make sure that most of the programs convey positive moral values, especially if the children are under the age of seven or eight. Some research has shown that children who watch such shows tend to be more fair than those who regularly watch violent shows and movies.
- For the limitation of viewing of programs with ambiguous content in adolescence, one should proceed with caution. It is better to explain the reasons why the content of a program is inappropriate, rather than simply forbidding it, without further explanation.
Step 3. Volunteer
Encourage children to serve the community or participate in other forms of volunteering. It is even better if the whole family accompanies them in this task.
- Among other things, volunteering can help inculcate values such as responsibility, generosity and compassion.
- One idea could be to help an elderly neighbor. Encourage the children to mow the lawn or share home cooked meals.
Step 4. Assign tasks
One of the most basic and classic ways to start building values is to assign daily and weekly tasks. Clarify the tasks that the child will be responsible for, in exchange for pocket money he will only receive if he completes them well and regularly.
In this way he will understand the value of responsibility and the benefits of constant commitment
Step 5. Encourage your child to play a team sport
If you don't like to play sports, you can look for other activities to do in a group.
Sharing is the most obvious value to convey, but belonging to a team can encourage young people to develop values such as dedication, responsibility and humility
Step 6. Make Tickets
Sit next to your child and make cards for loved ones. They can be thank you cards or greeting cards.
- Thank you cards teach appreciation.
- Greeting cards teach values such as esteem and kindness.
- By making postcards, you will also stimulate creativity.
Step 7. Launch challenges
These are inevitable in the course of life. By encouraging children to face challenges when they are still young, it can instill in them the values and moral principles they will need to overcome the obstacles of adolescence and adulthood.
- Grow a garden. Gardening can be a challenging task, but it can also teach children to be persistent. If you plant trees of edible products, you can teach the child to be self-sufficient.
- More generally, you can encourage your kids not to give up. Encourage a shy child to approach others in the park. Encourage a temperamental child to stay calm and not explode when something is wrong. When children can do something that is difficult for them, praise them.
Step 8. Teach to be considerate of others
Find ways to get children to think about other people's situations and feelings. Many values can be developed and strengthened when a person learns to be empathetic.
- When the child is small, you could flip through a magazine and ask him to identify emotions based on what the pictures show.
- At any age you can play the "friend's game". Put the names of all family members in a hat. Everyone should extract a name at the beginning of the day and find a way to do something nice for his "friend" during the rest of the day.