As parents, we all hope that our children will become successful adults. But most importantly we want to know that we are raising good them to be good people. We all hope that our children will grow up to have the courage to stand up for others who can’t, who always choose to do good and offer help to others. But these types of values are such that need to be taught when they are young. When children are taught at an early age good values, they learn to lead better lives and have a better moral compass. Here are some ways that you can teach your young ones good values:
- Be a good example.
We are our children’s first teachers. We are who they model their behaviors after first. When your child sees how you interact with people, your own generosity and your own personal values -they will mimic those. In other words, you must practice what you preach. When they find themselves in a situation where they are not sure what path to follow, they will think about what path you would choose. Help make sure they choose the right one.
- Hold them accountable.
This is very important. When your child makes a mistake, hold them accountable for it. Let them go through the consequences of their mistakes. If they take something from someone, they must go face the person face to face, apologize and make amends. It is important that you hold them accountable, right from the very beginning because the older they become the consequences for their mistakes become larger and life altering. If a child goes through the first years with their parents always saving them from consequence, it will do a great disservice to them as an adult. They won’t have a good understanding of consequences for their bad decisions and actions.
- Keep communication open and explain to them why.
Not only do you have to model the positive behavior, you also have to speak to it. Tell them why it is good to treat people equally, why it is not alright to lie or why we must share. This will help your children make the connection. They will begin to understand the importance of doing the right thing and what the consequences may be if we do not. When they ask questions, speak to them honestly.
- Help them develop their own problem solving techniques.
Many times children lie because they have created a problem but don’t want to get in trouble for it. By helping them be an active participate in helping find solutions to their problem, not only are you teaching them that honesty is the best approach but you are also giving them lifelong problem solving skills. Have your child be an active participant in the clean up or making amends for their mistakes and accidents.
Be happy , stay calm and count to ten. If that doesn’t work , do it again.