Parenting and guiding children towards the right path has always been viewed with confusion among parents from various cultures. Although it is easy to talk about instilling core family values with your children, you have to realize that these values differ from one household to another. But it need not be difficult. Teaching family values may be incorporated into your daily life through basic approaches and ideas.
Generally, family values refer to the positive traits and characteristics a person carries with them. Some examples of this are respect, empathy, generosity, love, responsibility, forgiveness, and honesty. How these values are played out, and the forms they take differs from one family to the next.
Relationship With God
This tops the list of family values that children need to learn in the household. Children who have a connection with God understand that there is a God who created us. Thus, a life centered around God is stable and robust. Children who are aware and depend upon God’s guidance are reminded that life is bigger than us, and there are some things that we cannot control or answer on our own. Teach kids to pray, read the bible with them, and talk about how you relate with God for them to appreciate this value.
It is also essential that kids learn how to handle life’s setbacks and disappointments. They know to see these obstacles are opportunities for growth instead of feeling like victims of the circumstances. Learning to rise above their disappointments and staying hopeful is an effective way of teaching resilience. Talk with the kids when they are disappointed, show compassion and empathy for what they are going through. Afterward, think of positive steps forward with them.
Humans are created for community and bask in relationships as we navigate along with the challenges and blessings from such interdependence. We become well-rounded and healthy individuals. Kids should also learn to relate well with others in a healthy way. Ideally, you can ask them for their opinion and input minor decisions such as where to eat and celebrate special moments with the family to instill this core value.
Children should be taught to say no when they need to. They should learn that it is okay to say no when pressured to do something they do not want to do. They understand that someone saying no should also be honored, and it validates that others have needs that are important too. Having respect for self leads to healthy boundaries and is essential for a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Marriage is the beginning of the family, and it is a life-long commitment that two people make. Children should learn the essence of marriage and family. It is okay if they get precious diamond engagement rings from famous jewelers when they grow up. Still, they will realize that binding the relationship together through marriage is more important than any other fancy thing. Through marriage, you are allowed to grow and serve your spouse and kids. It mirrors the union of Christ and his Church.
Children feel their importance in the family when they are given a chance to contribute in small but meaningful ways. Focus on teaching kids the value of responsibility by helping them contribute to things that they enjoy. It can be how they clean up toys, feed the pets, or do their school work. Having a sense of responsibility also helps them stand up to their mistakes and make an effort to correct them.
Doing what you say you will do is a significant life value that kids will need to function effectively later in life. When they can depend on themselves and others, kids can confidently move into adulthood. As parents, you can show the value of integrity to your kids by making do with your promises. If you tell your kid that you will read them a book after work, do everything to comply with your promise. If you are not able to follow through, acknowledge your shortcomings and apologize.
Kindness sets the stage for various other values such as compassion, empathy, and generosity. Kids should learn the difference between being nice and being kind. Kindness helps kids build positive relationships in and out of the home. They will learn to make better decisions when they consider the well-being of people around them. Show kindness to your kids so that they feel good about being kind to others.
It is more important that the kids see you living and practicing what you teach them as parents. They will learn and practice it themself when they have a role model to look up to, which is their parents. Make sure to show them that you are capable of the value you teach them by showing them interdependence, responsibility, resilience, and bringing them in close connection with God.