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How To Teach Values To Children

A. Summary

Do you want to know how to teach values to children? Well, I'm Nicholeen Peck and I teach parenting, character development, communication, I'm going to be talking about how you can teach values to your children.

B. How To Teach Values To Children

4 Things You Can Do

4 things that you can do to teach values to your children and as a bonus when you do these 4 things, it's gonna strengthen your relationship with them at the same time. There is a book called "Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers." In fact, there's a whole series of the Little Britches books. These books were written by a man named Ralph Moody and they're actually biographical stories which are about his life and so there's a lot of cool things in there. 

Well in this story, Little Britches, we see Ralph, little young Ralph. He steals something, he steals chocolate when the family does not have a lot of money and they've bought the chocolate for a special occasion. He takes it without asking so then we see how he feels after and how his parents handle the situation. 

There are other stories too like to think of Peter Rabbit and all of the Beatrix Potter books. They show that Peter Rabbit is doing the wrong thing and then he almost gets killed because he does the wrong thing. We see that it's not a good idea to trespass on other people's property and that we need to stick to following the instructions of our parents.

Because our parents are going to keep us safe and at the end of the day, we might not get treats like our siblings did because maybe we got sick from all of the commotions in Farmer McGregor's garden, right? There are stories that we can use to teach our children values. I'm going to caution you that not all stories are created equal. 

C. What To Discuss With Your Children

Exposing

In fact, there are many stories that happen nowadays that just don't really have any redeeming qualities to them. But when you look back in time just a little bit or when you find true stories from people's lives, there are often many things that you can learn so get in the habit of reading to your children. When you read to your children daily and you find things that have value and meaning, then that child is learning what values they need to have for their own lives from those characters that you are exposing them to. 

Example

Think of the 3 little pigs. Why did the pig that had the straw house, why did his get blown down so easily? Well, maybe he was a little lazy, that's something we need to learn about. What about work and industry versus laziness, that's a value to understand for sure. So, find good books and read them to your children. 

When all else fails, go back to the old maybe slightly archaic sounding, Aesop's Fables. Aesop's Fables all teach a beautiful lesson that usually goes back to the character of the person and so there are values presented there that they can use for their lives. 

Deep Discussing

Part of your reading should involve discussions. I believe in discussing deeper. In fact, it really is a parent's job to help their child mature and to see the world through the proper lens. If we don't do the job, guess what? Somebody else or something else, maybe a device, is going to do it for us. 

We don't want that to happen to our children so we need to discuss what's going on around them and what they hear. So, pull out one of your Aesop's Fables, read the story and then discuss it. See if you can apply it to your own life in some way. 

Maybe you can make a master list of all of the lessons that you're learning and discussing. Now, don't just discuss stories out of storybooks but you might want to discuss things that you see happening in real life too. Maybe there's somebody who's made a bad decision, maybe one of their friends steals something or isn't honest in some way. 

Value of Honesty

Maybe you need to discuss the value of honesty related to that experience that they had in real life, it's okay to discuss other people and how their behaviors affected your children, that's not gossip and it's not mean as long as your heart is an understanding and accepting heart of that person even though you're using their situation for the topic of discussion and learning. 

Final Step

So, discuss deeply with your children. In fact, you can take your discussion to the next level and you can even write down narrations. Now many people know this about me but I homeschooled my own children. My foster children did go to the public school but my own 4 children were homeschooled all growing up and we did something called a narration where I would type out their words after I read them a story like Jack and The Beanstalk. 

I would say tell me what happened in the story? What did you like about the story and I would type their words out exactly so that they had something written up that was their understanding of the values and lessons taught in that story. It was really valuable to them so making narrations could be taking your discussion to even the next level of depth. 

You want them to understand moral absolutes, right? Otherwise, you wouldn't care about values, that means you want them to know what's right and wrong, good and bad, true and false and you have to discuss those things with their experiences that are happening around them for them to discern all those morals. Before I get to my next tips for you, I would like to know what values you're hoping to teach your children. 

Question

What values are important to you and do you know make a good strong and healthy person for their life? Put your comments below so that I can see what types of values are useful to you and maybe other people will be getting ideas too of what values they can teach to their children. 

D. Creating Family Standards

A great way to teach values to your children is to create a family standard. When we took in foster children, we knew we were bringing in people who came from lots of different types of environments. Their families were certainly not going to be the same as our families otherwise they probably wouldn't have been removed from their families, anyway, and so we knew that we had to establish our culture with them. 

At that time, we decided to make a standard. So, this was our family standard, it was a list of rules that we had for our family that they could follow so that they wouldn't fall into old ways that happened at their house. This gave them something to hold on to and many of these rules, in fact, all of They pretty much, related back to a principle. 

So, a principle is forever. It's eternal, it's never changing and it can be applied on a broad scale to literally just about anything and everything. But a rule is different. Rules can be changed. In fact, if you think of laws, you see laws shift and change all the time, sometimes based on one person's whim a law can change. 

There might not even be a principle behind it. It's just what somebody wants or what they think might be more effective and they're willing to try it out and then everybody has to bend because of that. Well, those are rules not governed by principle. But in our family standard, we created a list of rules that were governed by principle. These rules are related to everything about the person. 

What types of things we would take into our body, what types of things would come out of our body like what kinds of words we would say. Would we gossip? Would we not? Why? What types of things we would do with digital devices? So, what we would expose our minds to and not and how we would take care of our bodies, health-wise, modesty-wise, all of those things were part of that family standard. 

E. Effects Of Having Family Standards

Anyway if you ever see that, you'll see that the two 17-year-olds that came to my home from Britain actually had the hardest time with our family standards. Things related to what we will take into our bodies and what we will put on our bodies. So, I had to treat them as if they were my children and they came home different and so that's why I ended up enforcing the family standard with them. 

But what does a family standard do for a person? It gives them their "no" answers, it gives them their instructions. Honestly by the very end of the BBC program, it was so amazing to see both of these two British 17 year-olds saying I love your house, I don't want to leave your house. I feel so safe here. I want to have this language standard when I go home. 

People are going to die when I don't want to say that word but I don't want to say it anymore, I didn't know what it meant. I didn't know what I was really saying, you know, and they changed. Their hearts changed, their minds changed because they were exposed to values, principles, to standards. Anyway, having that family standard was incredibly powerful for them and it can be for your children too. 

If you don't have a standard already in place, something that's written down that gives your family instructions and "no" answers, I highly recommend making one and I give all the details for how to do that in my teaching self-government parenting course. 

F. Pre-Teaching For Success

Another tip I have for you is to pre-teach your child for success so if you are teaching them these values, you're learning them, you're discussing them, you're creating a list of them and rules associated with them for your family in that family standard, then you've got to prepare your child to use those values and appeal to them in certain situations. 

So, I call this pre-teaching. So when your child is going to go to school, maybe it's the start of a school year or maybe they're going to go to a youth group meeting at your church, so all the people there might not have the exact same values and standards that your family has. So, you need to prepare your child for that and explain hey, when you're there, what might the environment be like? What type of language do you think we could maybe hear that doesn't match the type of language we choose to use? 

Okay, well how are you going to handle that? So, then you can teach them the skills that they need to successfully handle that situation. So, in our family, there are multiple skills. One of those key skills that we use is accepting a "no" answer. 

We can't change everybody else all the time so sometimes we just look at the situation or the person, we keep a calm face, voice, and body, we say okay to that or we disagree appropriately with them about whatever it is that they're saying or doing, which sometimes is useful too and that's a whole other skill. 

Oh, and then we just drop the subject so we don't spend our time getting angry about the fact that somebody else has a different standard than us and we don't over process it. The last thing you want your child to do is be comparing and comparing and getting prideful and over-processing, that becomes anxious for the child. 

So, it's better for them to just go I can drop the subject, people can be different than me but I know who I am and where I stand, that's called confidence, and a a parent can prepare a child to live according to their values and have that confidence if they have conversations with the child before they go out in other social situations and interact with people who might have different values than them. 

G. Importance Of Family Values

Our values are a vital part of who we are. In fact, they're part of our identity and they are formed in our home unless the home doesn't care in which case they open the door to all of the media, friends, and everybody else to do the formation of those values. 

I know most people don't want that, I know you probably don't want that. You want to teach them the values that you know to be true not just things that are trending or make people feel comfortable but real true values which mean that they're constant principles that last forever that they can hold on to their entire lives. 

They've got to live according to values for a long period of time for those values to become part of who they are and to be a truth that they can hold on to forever. So give them those values, discuss more, talk about the things that are going on, and know that they want that conversation they can handle it even if sometimes it seems a little bit embarrassing.

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