The Best Way to Teach Values to Kids

We need to equip our children with the insight that their struggles and failures serve as master teachers that help grow them into stronger, more successful people.
It is our belief that it’s never too early to begin teaching your children to be thoughtful, caring people. Though such a topic may seem philosophical in nature, and perhaps above the heads of young children, being a good person is at its heart the same as being a good friend—and it is not uncommon for children to surprise their parents with what they are capable of understanding.

A solid value system does more than make your child more pleasant to be around. It gives him or her a solid sense of self which can offer protection when exposed to temptation and peer pressure. Below, we outline five key values that parents should aim to teach their children from a young age:

1. Honesty:

As children grow, influences such as friends or the media can teach them to lie. It is important to counteract this by reinforcing the value of honesty. Children will often fear being yelled at, so let them know you will always take the time to listen to them. Applaud their courage for telling you the truth, but follow through with any punishments you have stated.

2. Respect.

Through your own example, strive to raise children who always remember to say “please” and “thank you,” and who demonstrate respect for other people’s opinions and belongings.

3. Teamwork

To be successful, our children must understand the value that others hold in their lives. We must teach them that fundamental to happiness and success are healthy, supportive and successful relationships. We must encourage our children to get involved in extracurricular activities and give them chores and responsibilities in the home as ways to garner a sense of teamwork into their repertoire of life skills.

4. Forgiveness.

Letting go of hurtful things that other people have done frees us to be happier. Make sure your children don’t hold grudges which keep them from being their happiest selves.

5. Perseverance

The lesson of persistence starts when kids are young, learning to feed themselves, walk or speak. Children at this age are likely to keep trying, but as they get older they will start to compare themselves with others, which can bring feelings of inadequacy. As a parent let your child know that you are always proud of him, and when he feels discouraged try to guide him to the right solution without simply solving a problem for him.