Instilling positive values in children

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes .It is a catalyst and sparks extraordinary results.  — Wade Boggs 

One of the most important things your child can do is to internalize the values they will live by. We see children expressing their honesty; compassion and other positive values that we would hope to pass on to them but this process can be both rewarding and terrifying.

The goal and challenge for parents is to help teens “make their own” the kinds of values that help them make positive choices throughout their lives. Moving from external control (such as doing what your parent says you should do) to self-regulation (doing what you believe in doing) is a central task of growing up, particularly during the teenage years.

Consider these tips to help you be a positive role model in your child’s life. 

  • Nurture a warm relationship

Children tend to be more willing to accept and internalize parental values when they feel close to their parents and close families usually have many shared interests and values that reinforce each other. 

  • Show and tell what matters

A key to your influence on your child’s values is that they understand what really matters to you. The best way to do that is both to show and tell—help them see the values in action in your own life and then talk about why you do what you do. Getting the child’s attention, being clear, and regularly reinforcing the values all help children to understandmore accurately the values you hope for them. That increases the likelihood that they will internalize those values.

  • Cultivate open communication

Teens are more likely to internalize their parents’ values when they have open, frequent and honest communication with each other.Open communication increases the odds that teens will listen to and internalize their parents’ values. In addition, parents gain a greater understanding of how their teens think and what’s important to them. That makes it easier to connect the parents’ values with the teens’ own emerging values. 

  • Pay attention to your child’s world and interests

When you show interest in the things that matter to your child, you show them that you care about their choices and activities. That attentiveness, in turn, motivates your child to pay attention to and accept your values and expectations.

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