All parents want their children to have a life guided by good values. A child’s conscience and value system develop at an early age. As parents, what can you do to help them? Here are five ways you can enrich their conscience and help them to develop a value system that will guide them through life.
- Provide good examples. What you say and do every day reflects what you think about the world. If you say good stuff, your children will do the same and see the world in a positive light. Children are great imitators. It is important for you to say and do the right things in all situations – be patient, be kind, show others respect, do the right thing even in difficult circumstances.
- Listen when your children talk. Sometimes your children ask questions that sound silly to adults, like “Mom, where does the sun sleep when the night comes?” Listen to them and answer seriously, “The sun does not sleep. It shines in other places in the world.” By listening, children will feel that they get respect from their parents. Feeling respected, and being treated respectfully teaches children to treat others with respect.
- Show happiness. Reflect and share happiness, positive energy and thoughts with your children. If you are happy, they are happy too. By doing this, your children will learn to have a positive attitude and enjoy life.
- Introduce them to nature. Tell them that all things happen in the world are connected to each other and that there’s a reason for it. For example, water is needed to irrigate plants and plants are a food source for other living creatures. Help them to understand their place and role in the world and how to protect nature and its creatures – animals and humans.
- Be flexible with your rules. Children need structure and rules. However, as children age and develop, allow them to play a role in setting the rules. Moreover, under your close supervision, they need to be allowed to make some of their own decisions. Discuss possible outcomes of each decision; this helps them to learn reasoning skills which leads to better decision making in various situations.
Again, remember that children are good imitators. They are looking to you for guidance – their attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors will often reflect those illustrated by their parents. Make sure your actions are what you hope to see in your children.