Ten Ways to Teach Values to your Kids
In a consumer-driven society that broadcasts values
you don't approve of, how can you teach values to
your kids? Here are ten ideas to help you:
1. Tell them your life stories and teach through
Kids love to hear stories about your childhood.
Weave in some moral dilemmas, and you've got great
opportunities to teach them values. It's especially
effective at bedtime, when there are fewer
distractions. They'll fall asleep with the story
swirling around inside them.
2. Live your own life according to your values-
walk the talk.
Kids learn by imitating, especially at a young
age. They're very adept at seeing the match between
what you say and what you do. Don't give them
confusing signals; follow your own values every
3. Expose them to your religion, faith, or
It seems especially important to let your kids
know they're not alone. Guiding your kids towards
your faith or spiritual beliefs will strengthen
their values, and provide parents with a framework
for their life.
4. Pay attention to who else might be teaching
values to your kids
Get to know your child's teachers, coaches,
friends, etc. Anyone who spends time with your
children may be influencing them. Know their values
and beliefs as well.
5. Ask your kids questions that will stimulate
dialogue about values
Telling your kids what values they should have
won't be very effective, especially when your kids
get older. Asking them "curious" questions will
allow discussions that will eventually lead to
values. "What did you think about that fight?" will
be more effective than, "He shouldn't have started
6. Talk to them about values in a relaxed and
Nothing will turn your kids off more than
preaching values to them after they've screwed up!
Talk to them when everyone's relaxed, and do it in
a light, conversational manner. Be aware of using
the "parental tone," which has your kids wanting to
run for the door.
7. Limit their exposure to TV and video
One of the ways to teach values to your kids is
by showing them what you avoid. Advertisers in the
US will be spending over 3 billion dollars to try
and convince your kids that they'll feel better if
they have the right clothes, etc. If you really
want to show them there are more valuable ways to
spend your time, limit your own TV watching as
8. Involve your kids in helping others
Kids learn values when they experience them.
Allow them to experience helping others by donating
a portion of their money to the needy, or by
getting involved in charity work. When your kids
can see first-hand the results of their efforts, an
important value will be established for a
9. Have frequent conversations about values in
Don't make the mistake of only talking about
values when something goes wrong. Your kids need to
hear your values reflected often in conversations.
It's another way for them to know that it's
10. Have high expectations for your kids' value
Your kids will tend to rise to the level of your
expectations. Their value system will often reflect
yours, as long as you expect them to make it an
important part of their life. When your kids are
making a decision, ask them to consider how their
decision fits into their own value system.
© 2009 Mark
Other Father Issues,
* * *
To this day I can remember my father's
voice, singing over me in the stillness of the
night. - Carl G. Jung
a Masters degree in counseling psychology and has
been a counselor, business consultant, sports
counselor, and a certified life and business coach.
He has worked with individuals, teams, and
businesses to improve their performance for over 20
years. Prior to life and business coaching Mark was
a world-ranked professional tennis player and has
coached other world-ranked athletes. He has helped
hundreds of individuals to implement his coaching
techniques. Mark specializes in coaching men to
balance their lives and to improve the important
relationships in their lives. He is the author of
the popular e-books, 25
Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent
Your Wife in 30 Days or Less (And Improve Yourself
at the Same Time
Mark is also the publisher of the Dads
Dont Fix your Kids ezine for fathers.
To sign up, go to www.markbrandenburg.com
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