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Teaching Children Positive Values

Teaching Children Positive Values
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Positive values are an important part of forming character. Not only do they encourage your child to act in a way you’re proud of, they also help kids react appropriately when faced with big decisions.

Key positive values children need to develop and socialise well include: caring, honesty, integrity, equality and responsibility. Teaching children these skills can seem like a hefty task, but it is definitely worthwhile and can be easier than you might think.

Lead by example

The first people children learn from are their parents. When kids see you displaying certain behaviours or attitudes then they will copy them, believing them to be correct. So, if you want your children to grow up with positive values the most important way you can encourage them is to show them yourself.

Role models

Of course, parents aren’t the only people who can influence children’s attitudes. Whether they’re people your kids know in real life or celebrities they admire, good role models can go a long way in instilling great values. If your child is obsessed with a celebrity or sportsperson you don’t think promotes these values, then gently try to steer them towards someone more admirable.

Groups and extra-curricular activities

Everything from team sports to drama can help your child learn positive values. Helping other kids, striving to do the best they can and viewing their peers as equals are all-important elements of group activities. Depending on your child’s personality, you might want to consider joining a Scouts/Guides group, dancing team or choir.

Respect

Teaching Children Positive ValuesOne of the best ways to encourage your kids to be honest and have integrity is to respect their opinions. Obviously there will be times when you just can’t agree or let them go ahead and do something, especially if it’s dangerous, but respecting your kids’ values and opinions validates them and lets them know they are free to be whoever they want to be. It also encourages children to offer others the same level of respect.

Discuss values

If you take the time to explain what you believe and why, then your children are more likely to consider it. Simply telling a child how you want them to act doesn’t have the same impact, as explaining why acting a certain way is a good thing. The well-worn phrase, “Would you like it if someone did that to you? No? Well don’t do it to someone else.” can also be useful in persuading children to think about their actions in relation to the feelings of others.

Benefits of positive values

Researchers in Minneapolis discovered a link between positive values and positive behaviour in children. The 2004 study suggested that kids who believe they have positive values have better problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, increased conflict-resolution skills, decreased likelihood of having premature sexual intercourse, fewer friends who make bad choices, great competence and higher grades in school. Children who have been brought up with positive values will find that in adult life it comes naturally to them, as it has been ingrained into their personality.

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About Maria Brett

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About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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