Once upon a time, we had ‘Moral Science’ in school. Today, parents know that a list of moral values for children is simplistic – instead, we need to walk the talk.
Raising a family in a today’s fast-paced, complicated, and ever changing world can make it confusing for a parent to decide just which values to teach them. As a parent, I know that it’s up to me to teach my child to differentiate between right and wrong.
However, it’s not possible (or practical in any way) to just draw up a list of moral values for children and lecture them about it! When it comes to instilling moral values in children and teaching them to know right and wrong, parents need to lead by example. Plus, its important to start young. Studies have shown that even very young children copy their parents.
Here is my list of moral values for children – values that I believe are timeless and need to be practised by us so that our children follow.
This is one of the most important values to teach children. They need to understand and acknowledge other people’s sentiments or presence in their lives and respect views and choices that are not the same as theirs. Make it a point not to criticise people simply because they have opinions different from yours. If you do need to disagree with people in your child’s presence, do so politely.
Being generous and helpful
This one moral value is best taught to children by action and not by mere words. As a parent, if you follow this, then chances are the little ones will pick this habit automatically. So, all you have to do is to just set a good example in front of them so that they realize the importance of being generous and helpful.
Inculcating a sense of responsibility
This is one moral value that can be taught as early as in the toddler age group! Just start by teaching them the importance of taking care of their toys and to arrange them when they are done with their playing. Also, teaching pre-schoolers to put their clothes in the laundry bag or helping clear the table helps to inculcate a sense of responsibility – this will help them be independent in life.
Never hurt anyone
Children must be taught from an early age that they should not hurt anyone physically or emotionally. They must be taught that hurting someone is a very bad thing and even if they hurt a person unintentionally, they should apologize immediately.
The value of sharing
Teach the little ones the essence of sharing is caring. Try to celebrate a festival or a birthday by distributing goodies to an orphanage. Make it a family ritual if you will to make some amount of charity a mandatory family affair. By helping those who truly need your help, you will help the kids to evolve as well.
This list of moral values for children includes just some simple and common things that should be observed every day. Children observe their parents closely, so it is very important to lead by example.
Watch what you do as a little pair of eyes is always looking up to you!
Note: This was first published in Women’s Web.