Values are what we live by. They are what ensure our happiness, success, and foundation of all the values are best laid during childhood. But there are scores of them, and such little time. Which ones to instill in our children and how? However, parents do not need to worry as one value is linked with another. For instance, as a child is taught forgiveness, he learns to be compassionate. As he picks the value of optimism, a sense of persistence is instilled in him. Here are five important values to teach children that once instilled, will help your child absorb other values.
Five Values to Teach Your Child
This is the most essential value that a child has to be taught. Ironically, it is this same value that children are most prone to lose. Children are born without the knowledge of deceit. However, as they grow, association of reward with good actions that are often used for instilling values in children, itself triggers the instinct of lying. To add to it, are the shows on television and movies that are definitely no lessons on moral science. But why is honesty so important? Because it is this single value that would save your child from straying onto the wrong path. Once your child is honest, he will accept his mistake, and will be open to your advice that would prevent him from repeating the same mistake.
It is about the courage to speak the truth, the courage to own a mistake. If a child has the courage to own up for his actions, he would seldom resort to lying. Once he acknowledges that it is his mistake, it would be easier for a parent to counsel him and help him make amends for it. In most cases it is seen that a child who has the courage to stand up for his beliefs, is the one who later, as an adult, brings about a desired change in the society. However, let us not dream of such lofty ideals for our children right now. Just ensuring that they own up to their mistakes, and don't go into hiding when caught having erred, should be our priority.
Children who don't learn to forgive, grow up to be bitter adults. Through the act of forgiving, children develop the value of compassion. But do you just order your child to forgive the action of a fellow child who has hurt him? No, that won't work. Rather listen to your child talk out his hurt, and explain that holding on the grudge would hurt them even more. This value would, in turn, instill another important value to teach children and that is kindness.
Life is full of failures and disappointments. The only thing that keeps one going in times of trial is optimism. This is an important value for children as every now and then, their abilities would be challenged. Since many experiences would be for the first time for them, disappointments are bound to take place. If their confidence is dented early on during childhood, their chances for success later in life would also be dim.
Teach your child to share what he has, with those around him. It doesn't need to be with other children. If no other child is around, ask him to offer his chocolate to all adults in the family. The piece of chocolate may be small, and you would want your child to have it all. But do take a small bit off that little bar once in a while so that your child knows that, if he offers his goodies then he has to mean it as well. This value of sharing will help him experience the joy of giving and sharing. He would be more selfless, and as an adult would be able to act in greater good of all, rather than just being hung up on petty things in life.
How to Teach Values?
The answer is right in front of every parent, and those who don't realize even after having seen how their kids emulate them, well then the answer is - through example. Yes, children learn what we do. Hence, one has to be very careful about the way they react in front of children. If you are the parent, your child would be most affected by your behavior as you are his role model. Hence, be in control of your emotions when a child is around.
The second point is patience. Your child may commit mistakes that may enrage you. However, remember that a child lacks the ability to rationalize acts that we adults possess. Nor do they commit mistakes on purpose. On the contrary, an angry parent would only push the child away even when he wants to come and confess his mistakes. Instead, be calm and approachable for your child. Explain his mistakes to him, and encourage him to make amends as well. Through this act you are teaching your child, another important value in life, that is, forgiveness.
A right beginning can lay the path of success for your child. All that is required from parents is a little time and patience, when it comes to teaching important values to children.