Every parent desires to bring up their children as responsible, trustworthy, loving, kind-hearted and amazing people. Good education backed by strong values will make this happen with both of them carrying equal weight.
Why imparting values is crucial?
Values help a person to grow, to develop, to build up character, to build and maintain good relationships. Values assist in developing a strong personality of your child, in turn minimizing the possibility of having them go astray. It reflects a person’s character. Values are a part of our thoughts and feelings which are reflected in our behaviour. When at the point of critical decision-making situation in life; it is values that help make the right choice and focus on what is essential. Researchers say children start differentiating between right or and wrong when they are around the age of 5 to 6 years old, and the first learning comes from parents. A Parent is the most ideal role model of a child. As a result they admire them and try to follow their footsteps. This makes it imperative for parents to teach and follow the moral values by being their most ideal role models.
In the world of diluted feelings and emotions, values come as a ray of hope to be rooted with our culture and be connected with positive aspects of life. What makes it significant is to acknowledge the enormity of imparting values in children so that they can differentiate between right or wrong.
Values cannot only be taught as a classroom lesson. It is a vital life skill that is automatically learnt during the early years of childhood. To ensure children become responsible society members, we need to teach them moral values like: (to name a few)
By imparting the right moral values, parents play a dominant role in moulding the personality and their approach towards life of the child.
Let’s discuss a few steps to improve your skill-set in imparting values in to your Children.
- Lead by Example: Be polite, respectful and considerate towards others. Express gratitude and dignity for labour. Ensure children are grateful towards others and express their thankfulness.
- Good Listening skill is a good value to have: Listening respectfully to children’s ideas and wherever required, correct them. This will boost their self-confidence. Also, they learn that, when others speak, it’s important to listen.
- Sharing quality moments with children. The dedicated quality time spent with your children has a direct effect on what they grow up to be. You pass on the values you have learnt from your elders and your life experiences. These values may have many a times helped you in deciding the right for yourself. Discuss and share some of your life experiences with them explaining how you dealt with different life situations and emphasizing on how the core values helped in influencing your decision making. Believe me; children enjoy listening to your true stories.
- Storytelling is considered as an effective way of imparting values. Narrate stories to children with a lot of enthusiasm and do make use of your dramatic skills. Your creative ways of story narration will hook on to the interests of children and help them understand the different emotions, values and morals. Also read to them stories of great leaders and their achievements. Don’t forget to include stories of patriotism, religious evolution and ethical stories. Also do question them about the lesson they have learned. Discuss their thoughts on this. Allow them to express their ideas and understandings of the same.
- Involve Children in preparations for festivals and religious functions. It generates faith and trust towards divinity, builds in devotion and belief. Helps them understand traditions and customs and importance as to why they need to be followed.
- Media Exposure plays a significant role in our life. Most of the programs or movies are based on expressing emotions. Discuss the situations and the emotions involved. While watching the news or even a cinema discuss the different aspects and ask the child various questions as what would his/her actions be in such situations? This will trigger a sense of reasoning in children.
- Offer opportunities for your children to help others. This will instill in the generosity. Involve children in serving food or water at functions and cultural feasts. Introduce your child to serve the needy. It generates a sense of Service and empathy.
- Comment on compassionate behaviour. Let your child know that caring is a significant moral value. Appreciation has a permanent place in the memory lanes. Don’t hesitate to appreciate any empathetic behaviour. This nurtures the value and helps enhance compassionate behaviour for life.
Instilling values is a continuous process. Endorse the joy of being enriched with values; this will enhance our society with trustworthy, honest, loving kind-hearted and good human beings! Rest assured, this will make them smarter than ‘street smarts’.
Medha Kedar Tonapi,
‘Health in your Mind’
Psychotherapist, Life Coach,
Picture Credits: The hans India, The Hindu, astroupay.com