Parents want their children to exemplify high moral standards as they grow into adults. There are a number of different ways to value education for kids at home.
Below you will find a list of four suggestions to help you begin teaching values to kids. These are simple ideas for spending more time together with your children and helping them learn the values that are important to you.
1. Eat Dinner Together.
· Eat around a dinner table to stimulate conversation and listening. Adults and children can share equally in the discussion. There is a lot of teaching and learning that goes on in these casual conversations.
· Family problems can be worked out with daily dinner conversations. When kids feel listened to they will be more comfortable discussing family and personal issues with you. Often, problems can be solved while they are still small.
· Make meal time a place for positive conversation. This isn’t the time to criticize someone or complain about your day. If it’s been an especially bad day, spend more time actively listening.
· Active listening by a parent or adult helps a child feel loved. Active listening includes using your ears, eyes and heart. Children will choose to be a contributing member in a family where their opinions are acknowledged.
2. Read Together.
· Reading stories and books together is a special time for bonding. It is quality time for both parents and children. Many positive things can happen during reading time.
· Choose stories that are appropriate for the child’s age and interest. There are also many books that both older and younger children can enjoy. Ask your local librarian for suggestions.
· Reading is a safe way to teach about actions and consequences. Help your child imagine what it would be like to be a particular character in a story you’re reading. What would your child do in a particular circumstance?
· Reading inspires imagination. Books can make everything seem possible; they allow your child to dream and try out different roles.
· Read for your own pleasure. Your child will observe your example, and know you value reading in your own life. Knowing this helps kids to balance some of the appeal of electronic media.
3. Play Outside.
· Playing outside helps a child develop physically and mentally. Running, climbing and jumping all help a child grow strong. Dress for the weather. You can be outside most days of the year.
· The freedom of being outdoors, in a safe environment, allows a child to use his imagination. A child older than a toddler can be encouraged to make up games and entertain himself or herself.
· Play with your kids; they will love you more for it. Also encourage your child to learn to play with other children. Be aware of bullying when children are playing together. Make sure your child knows it’s not acceptable to be bullied or to bully someone else.
· If you live in an urban environment, take the time to point out nature wherever you can find it. Every so often take an outing somewhere your child can experience being in nature.
4. Teach Independent Decision Making.
· Allow children the opportunity to make some independent decisions. For example, a toddler can choose between two outfits. An older child might like to choose what vegetable they would like for dinner or decide what to work on first during homework time.
· As the child grows, the choices can expand. Children need the chance to experiment with what it feels like making their own decisions. One of the goals as parents is that children grow to become responsible and independent adults. Practicing making good choices is part of that process.
· Whenever possible, children should experience the consequences of their decisions. For example, if a child chose to procrastinate and had only 15 minutes to study for a math quiz that they did poorly on, help them to understand that they aren’t dumb and that the test was not impossible. Doing badly might have been a direct consequence of choosing not to leave enough time for study. Help your child decide on a new work plan that might have a better consequence or outcome next time.
Eating together, reading, playing outside, and encouraging independent decision-making are four things you can do with children at home to help teach values. Kids develop good values though a culmination of skills they are taught at home and time spent together in families.
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