The family is a microcosm of the society. If a society must be morally healthy, parents own the responsibility of teaching their children moral values that will help them to become responsible citizens. This responsibility shouldn’t be left for anybody else, it is strictly for the parents or guardian of the child.
Who we are today in terms of character development is a function of our upbringing. We are all born into this world with an empty mind, our current beliefs and perspectives about life are the results of the things we were taught.
Statistics shows that "at age 5, children are most open to learning, at age 6, moral values are set for life, at 9 years their worldviews are formed, at 12 years they begin to mature in their thinking, and at 13 their religion is set for life". It is your duty as a father or mother to ensure your children learn important values that will carry them through life. King Solomon understands the importance of equipping children with moral values when he said “train up a child in the way he should go so that when he is old, he would not depart from it.”
I can say emphatically that I own my character development to the kind of upbringing I got from my parents. Though I am currently independent of my parents’ control, the important values they taught me keep ringing in my heart every day. As a parent it is your responsibility to do same for your children so that when they become grownups, they would live modestly anywhere they found themselves.
List of Moral values for Kids
The important values every parent should teach their kids include the following:
1. Honesty: Who does not like an honest fellow? Everybody wants to associate with someone who is honest and trustworthy. People seek for such quality when looking for someone to lead a group, a community or an organization. Today there are thousands of people whose middle name is dishonesty, but very few are truthful and honest. As a parent, try with all your might that you help your children to develop the value of honesty. Encourage them to tell the truth irrespective of the consequence. Let them understand the dangers and consequences that come with dishonesty.
2. Good Reputation: one of the values my parent emphasized so much when I was growing up is good reputation. The bible says "a good name is better than riches and gold." A lot of people today engage in dubious activities just to satisfy their animal needs. They have no regard for the effect of such behavior on their reputation. Every parent who wants his kids to be among the leaders of tomorrow must teach their children the importance of good reputation. Teach your children to value good reputation over dishonest gains.
3. Hard work: My father was a workaholic; probably that was why he laid so much emphasis on the need for hard work. As you already know that nothing comes easy in life. A man of wisdom once said, “Any good that is worth achieving must be paid for in strokes of daily effort.” My Dad taught that the cure to poverty and misery is hard work, now I am an adult and I can’t agree less with him. Teach your children the need to work hard. Tell them stories of highly successful people and paint a picture of how hard work took them to the place of success. Do your best to discourage laziness among your children.
4. Respect for Elders: Virtually every society validates that the young should respect the old. As a parent let your children know the importance and need to respect the people who are older than them.
5. Self-reliance: One value that is required for greatness in life is self-reliance. With self-reliance comes initiative, which is “the ability to do something without being told.” Self reliance is the quality of having confidence in one’s abilities and able to do things for oneself. Teach your children to believe in themselves, trust their guts and accept responsibility for their life. Let them know and accept like Williams Henley that “they are the master of their fate and that they are captain of their soul.” This value will help your children to become resilient and determined; essential qualities needed to sail through the turbulent sea of this life.
6. Modesty: Modesty is the quality of being unassuming in the estimation of one’s ability. It also mean behavior, manner, appearance intended to avoid impropriety and indecency. Parent should teach their kids the value of modesty. A popular quote says “pride goes before a fall, but humility brings honour.” Humility is the gateway to greatness. Teach your children to be humble and live decently. Teach them to desist from pride as much as they can. Encourage them to desist from arrogance and every form of indecency.
7. Endurance: Teach your children that life will not always be rosy. Let them understand that life is full ups and downs. Let them understand the role of endurance in sailing the sea of life. When I was a child, in one of the frames on the wall in my kid friend’s father living room was an inscription “endurance is the key to success.” Till today the basic truth derived for that inscription coupled with my father’s instruction on the need for endurance has not left me. Father drummed this saying into my ear times without number “whatever we desire to be, we can be if only we can endure and face the difficulties.” As a parent try as much as possible to help your children to develop the value called endurance.
Above all, it is vitally important to know that as a parent your children are watching you. They will learn more from your conduct and way of life than the instructions you pass to them. “Do as I say not as I do” is not a working philosophy when it comes to parenting. The right approach is “do as I say and do as I do" and this will only work if you are doing the right thing. If as a parent you are immoral, and indecent, it won’t take a very long time before your children will learn that behaviour from you. No amount of correction will work because your instruction is directly opposite your own behaviour. If you live right and encourage your children to do same, you will end up raising responsible kids, the corollary is also true.
In conclusion the values suggested here are the ones I personally see as essential because they have helped me greatly. As a parent, you have your own set of values that you will like to see in your children, so you can add them to the ones suggested here.
Over to You
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