- Honesty is the best policy
- Where there is a will there is a way
- Speak truthfully
- A friend in need is a friend indeed
- Love thy neighbour
Listed above are few of the many values that a child learns both at school and at home. Values define the character of a person, and a child must ideally implement these learning to sustain the force of this competitive world. These values are taught in order to help kids become better individuals overall, but often we find ourselves in a dilemma when we see that the values that we taught our children aren’t reflect in their character. Somehow, they forget these values in the course of their physical, social, and mental development, so we end up believing that something is incorrect in our teaching.
Let’s have a look at where we are going wrong, and why our children may not able to stick to the values that we have taught them.
Children learn from their parents
Today, if we find a child misbehaving or not sticking to the basic childhood values, it’s possible that the reason behind such behaviour is their parents’ character and behaviour. I’m not saying that parents do not take care of their children—parents must be putting forth their best efforts to raise their child—but they forget that children learn from observing their parents. Parents’ behaviour and interaction with other family members teach a child a lot about this world. An immature child is unable to decide whether parents are right or not and will follow their examples, so our own behaviour needs to be worked upon before addressing the child’s issues.
The difference between doing, and saying
Parents do try to teach their children the best of the values that can help them in building up their life, but they themselves fail to implement them in their own character. They say “Honesty is the Best Policy” and the very next moment, they themselves break this golden rule. When they themselves say one thing and do something else, how can they expect their children to learn what they teach?
Everything learned needs revision and illustrations
Imagine you have taught a value to your child and left it there itself: that gentle little child is not self-sufficient enough to grasp your teachings in a single go. Even a teenager who is going to take his exams needs to revise and recite his answers beforehand. So it is with a child: unless you keep reminding him of those values from time to time with the use of real-world happenings and scenarios, those values will easily evaporate. Constant reminders and illustrations are necessary to help the child stick to and implement these teachings in his own life. Somewhere, we fail to understand this fact and thus find our child in a difficult predicament.
Give examples instead of just lecturing
Unless you explain the reasons behind teaching an attribute to your child, it will be difficult for him to grasp it completely. How can we convince him to follow something without putting ahead the reasons for which he should follow them? When we explain something to him, we often fail to explain to him the pros and cons of not following those values—the ifs and buts, the harm in not following something, and other such points must be kept transparent in front of the child. This may seem like common sense, but most people fail to realize its importance.
We fail to devote time to our children
Too often, we take more of a teaching than a parenting role with our children, and we fail to give them quality time. When was the last time when we spoke to our children about what’s going on with their school and friends? How many times a day do we show them our affection? We fail to give them our time, and thus they fail to stick to the values and principles taught by us. Our love and affection are vital in motivating them to follow what we say for their own good.
All parents need to think about these small—but very crucial—points in which we miss out on during the process of teaching our children. Once these points are taken care of, things will start changing in the right direction.