The values you impart in the early stages of your child’s life will help him/her grow up to be a self-confident, independent and successful adult. Up to the age of seven, children are like sponges, absorbing everything around them. This imprint period is the best and most important time to help them form values and learn a sense of right and wrong.
Values influence how children behave in the classroom, interact with peers and develop ethical standards and even good manners. It’s certainly an aspect of parenting that every loving and hands-on parent must focus on.
Examine your own values and determine what’s important for your family and what values you want to see in your children. List them on a family bulletin board and place it somewhere visible in the home! Here are the top 3 qualities that will give your child a head start in life:
If you respect your child, he will learn to respect himself as well as others. Respect helps children build self-esteem and feel secure. You can demonstrate respect by asking your child for his opinion on where to go for family outings or what to cook for dinner. You can teach your child to respect other people’s things by not letting him rummage through your drawers and cupboards, or asking for permission before taking someone’s belongings. Respect is also one of the core MindChamps values.
Teaching a child to be responsible helps her learn to take care of herself, excel in school, and work diligently at a job someday. Teach your child how to keep her toys after play. Do it with her, not for her. Remember to give appropriate praise after that to reinforce positive behaviour. If your child loses a favourite toy she was responsible for keeping, don’t immediately buy her a new one. Read books to your child where the main character is responsible, and explain what the character did afterwards.
Resilience allows your child to overcome adversity and maintain a healthy self-esteem even when things go wrong. Teach your child not to give up by encouraging him to try again, whether it’s a block tower that keeps falling over or a word he can’t figure out how to read. Model resilience by letting your child observe you hard at work, or do something difficult like fixing up a computer or mastering a recipe.
We live in a society that emphasises the importance of academic success. However, it is important to recognise that intentionally imparting values is a vital component of parenting. Indeed, it is the values taught that will help them navigate the inevitable challenges that arise and ultimately guide them towards success.
©2017 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.
Article contributed by Judith Xavier, Focus on the Family Singapore.