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August 8, 2014
A Practical Way to Teach Values
Here’s a practical and effective way to teach values in your family-explain the reasons behind your rules.
When you think of rules, you may just think of a list of do’s and don’ts that you are trying to impress upon your children. Rules can be much more than that though. They can be used as the vehicle to communicate values to your children. When rules are implemented and used correctly, children will learn not only to say “Excuse me” before interrupting a conversation, but more importantly, they will learn to respect others and see the value of listening first before speaking.
Ask yourself why you require your five-year-old to stay in the yard or your teenager to check in regularly. These are safety issues and develop a sense of accountability to others.
Why do you tell your son to make his bed every day or your daughter to clean and vacuum her room on Saturday? It has to do with the value of neatness and self discipline. Take time to talk about the values, not just the rules.
We all have values that we somehow wish our children would develop and take on as their own. As they grow, our children will evaluate our values and choose the ones they understand and can relate to. You have a window of opportunity with your children in which you can teach them the values that you embrace.
Rules are values put into action. They show children what values look like, how to put them into practice, and why they are important. If we want our children to embrace our values, we need to teach them what these values are and how to implement them in their lives. Rules become a good vehicle to teach children the things that are most important to us.
While you’re pondering this idea, consider some of the reasons for the rules God has for his children. It’s a good way to connect with the things that are most valuable to God and his family.
This idea was taken from the book, Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.