Top 10 Ways to Teach
Values to Your Kids
Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC,
In a consumer-driven society
that broadcasts values that don't reflect what you believe,
how can you teach values to
your kids? Here are ten ideas to help you:
1. Tell them your life
stories and teach through your stories
Kids love to hear stories
about your childhood. Weave in
some moral dilemmas and you've got great opportunities to
teach values to them. It certainly beats lecturing your
2. Live your own life according to your values-walk the talk.
Kids learn by imitating,
especially at a young age. They are very adept at seeing if
what you say and what you do are
matching up. Don't give them confusing signals; follow your
own values every moment.
3. Expose them to your religion or faith
It seems especially important
today to let them know that they're not alone. Providing your
kids with a community of
faith will strengthen their values and provide parents some "leverage"
4. Pay attention to who
else might be teaching values to your kids
Get to know your child's
teachers, coaches, relatives, etc. Anyone who spends time with
your kids may be influencing
them. Know their values and beliefs as well.
5. Ask your kids questions
that will stimulate dialogue about values
Telling them what values
they should have won't always be 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," may be more effective than, "He shouldn't have
started that fight!"
6. Talk to them about values in a relaxed and easy way
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. They'll be much more likely to be listening rather
than tuning you out.
7. Read them fairy tales when they're younger
Fairy tales capture the
imagination of kids and can easily lead to a discussion of
values. Kids will learn the most
concerning values when they're excited about the topic.
8. Involve your kids in
art, activities, or helping others while limiting TV and video
Kids learn values when
they experience them. Allow them to experience helping others
and involve them in activities
that will expand their creativity.
9. Have frequent conversations
about values in your household
This lets your kids know
that it's important and it's not just something you talk about
when they do something wrong.
10. Have high expectations for your kids' value systems
Kids will tend to rise
to the level of expectation you have for them. Their value
system will often reflect yours if
the expectations are high.
MA, CPCC, is a certified personal
coach, speaker, author, and workshop leader who
helps men to create balance in their lives and to
immediately improve their family relationships,
guaranteed! He is the author of "Fix Your Wife in
30 Days or Less" http://www.markbrandenburg.com/saveyourmarriage.htm
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