Any good parent wants the best for their children. We want our children to grow up to be happy, successful and self-sufficient. We also want them to be kind, caring and selfless. Here are 5 values to teach our kids at a young age, according to parents.com.
Honesty is always the best policy and that’s something we should teach our kids.
“Consider this story: Carol decided to limit the number of play dates between her 3-year-old son, Chris, and his friend Paul. The boys had been fighting a lot recently, and Carol thought they should spend some time apart. So when Paul’s mother called one afternoon to arrange a get-together, Carol told her that Chris was sick.
Overhearing this, her son asked, “Am I sick, Mommy? What’s wrong with me?” Carol, taken aback by her son’s frightened look, told him she had only said he was sick because she didn’t want to hurt Paul’s mother’s feelings. Carol then launched into a complicated explanation of the distinctions between the various types of lies, and Chris was confused. All he understood was that fibbing is sometimes okay-and that, in fact, it’s what people do.”
It’s important to lead by example. If you want your child to be honest, you must be honest as well. Teach them that honesty isn’t always easy but it will always pay off.
“At a recent family gathering, Amy and Marcus, 4-year-old cousins, were making castles out of wooden blocks. Suddenly, Amy knocked over Marcus’s castle, and he started to cry. Witnessing the scene, Amy’s father chided his daughter and ordered her to apologize. Amy dutifully said, “I’m sorry.”
Then her dad took her aside and asked, “Do you know why you pushed over his blocks?” She told him that she was mad because Marcus’s castle was bigger than hers. The dad told her that though this was no excuse for destroying her cousin’s castle, he could understand her feelings. He then sent her back to play.
The father’s reaction was similar to that of many psychologically savvy parents: He wanted his daughter to identify and express her feelings and to understand why she behaved as she did. That’s okay, but it isn’t enough. In order to help children internalize a true sense of justice, parents need to encourage them to take some action to remedy a wrong. For example, Amy’s dad might have suggested that she help Marcus rebuild his castle or that she bring him some cookies as a gesture of apology.”
Teach your children to make amends, say sorry, take responsibility for their actions.
Encourage them to take on challenges and work hard to accomplish them. Teach them not to be a quitter.
“Five-year-old Jake showed his mother a drawing that he’d made with his new crayons. “That’s very bright and colorful,” she told him. “Nice job!” The child then ran to his room and dashed off another drawing to bring to his mom for praise-then another and another.
“Each one was sloppier than the last,” his mother said. “I didn’t know what to say.” A good response might have been: “Well, Jake, that drawing isn’t as carefully done as your other one. Did you try your best on that?”
Constructive criticism is sometimes healthy for children. It builds character, teaches them to have a back bone and leads them to constantly improve and become better. We never want our children to stop progressing. You can encourage determination from a young age.
Teach your children to not only think of themselves but to think of others and their feelings as well. We don’t want our kids to grow up to be selfish.
“Anne was frustrated because her daughters, ages 3 and 4, ended up whining and fighting every time she took them grocery shopping. “I finally told them that we needed to figure out how to do our shopping without everyone, including me, feeling upset,” Anne says.
The mom asked the girls for suggestions on how to make the trip to the grocery store a better experience for all. The 4-year-old suggested that they bring snacks from home so they wouldn’t nag for cookies. The 3-year-old said she would sing quietly to herself so she would feel happy.
The girls remembered their promises, and the next trip to the supermarket went much more smoothly. Leaving the store, the younger girl asked, “Do you feel really upset now, Mommy?” The mother assured her that she felt just fine and remarked how nice it was that nobody got into an argument.
Do these small problem-solving exercises actually help a child learn the value of consideration? You bet. Over time, even a young child sees that words or actions can make another person smile or feel better, and that when she’s kind to someone else, that person is nice to her. This feedback encourages other genuine acts of consideration.”
There is no greater medicine and affection than love. Teach your children to embrace love and not to be afraid of it. Teach them to be generous with their affection and to use it to make others feel good.
“Parents tend to think that children are naturally loving and generous with their affection. This is true, but for loving sentiments to last, they need to be reciprocated. It’s chilling to realize that over the course of a typical busy day, the phrase “I love you” is probably the one that a child is least likely to hear.
Let your child see you demonstrate your love and affection for the people in your life. Kiss and hug your spouse when the kids are around. Talk to your children about how much you love and appreciate their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.”
It’s important for our kids to feel that they grew up with love.
As you journey through parenthood, we applaud you. These are just 5 values that your kids will someday appreciate being taught. We believe that every family is different and every parent knows what’s best for their specific family.