As parents, we often worry about the choices that our kids had made, and will continue to make. May it be mundane things such as fashion and toys, or more significant things such as friendships, relationships, and religion.

We can’t help but worry that they will make the wrong choices and suffer the consequences.

How do we teach our kids to make the right choices then?

The short answer: You. Just. Can’t. Bummer.

But although we can’t really teach our children to make the right decisions, we can instill in them good values that will ultimately guide them into making the right choices.

The good thing about teaching your children good values is that it will stick with them all throughout their lives – yes, even during their critical teenage years, and their adult lives.Here are values that will guide our children in making decisions:

Honesty and Integrity

We often hear people say that kids don’t know how to lie. But oh, how they do! There are factors that contribute to the reasons why kids lie, but that warrants a different discussion. As parents, it is important to teach our kids the value of honesty, and how this is equal to their integrity as a human being.

The best way to teach honesty to our children is to practice it ourselves. When a teacher asks why you weren’t able to join the Parents-Teachers meeting, don’t say that you’ve been sick when in fact you just forgot about the meeting.

When your son asks for a very expensive toy, don’t tell them that you’ll buy it next payday when in fact you can’t afford it. Tell the truth about your finances. You’ll be surprised at how kids understand.

When your child hears you telling untruthful things, they may think that lying is okay. “Not telling the truth is acceptable because my mom is doing it.”  NO. Teach them honesty by also being honest in everything as much as possible.

Respect and Consideration

 I think Billy Graham nailed it when he said this: “A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.”

The keyword here is “allowed”. This only means that we, as parents, have control over whether or not our child respects us. If we allow them to be disrespectful to us, then we are molding them to become disrespectful to everyone.

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With respect comes consideration as well. It is important that we also teach our children to be considerate of other people. Let us teach them to respect AND consider the feelings and well-being of other people.

Generosity and Compassion

People are born with an innate instinct to survive and to look after themselves. Kids, most especially, think only about themselves – about having the toy they want, eating the food they like, etc.

It is our responsibilities, as parents, to teach them how to share – not only the things they don’t want/like anymore, but most especially the things they like very much.

If you have more than one child, then you can start teaching the values by letting your kids share in many things. For those who only have one child, taking them to playgroups will help.

Above all, when kids see that their parents are generous and compassionate of other people, they will follow suit.

Courage and Perseverance

Failure is always present in every endeavor. Nobody ever evades failure, and it is vital that we let our kids know about this fact. Our kids will fail. They will make the wrong choices, and they will suffer the consequences of the wrong decisions they will make.

It takes courage to rise up from failure and to continue despite the odds. Adults who are able to persevere despite the trials were once kids who were taught that falling down happens a lot, so you gotta learn how to stand back up again and again.

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