Parents have a full plate when it comes to instilling strong morals in their kids. There are many areas that you have to cover, such as honesty, respect, stealing and sharing. Although the prospect of teaching and demonstrating morals could be challenging, the time you spend now could prevent more serious behavioral issues later.
In This Post:
Telling the Truth
Kids are generally honest, but their imaginations may run wild. Kids who are younger than seven years often have a difficult time telling the difference between what is real and what is pretend. As your kids grow, explain the importance of telling the truth. You might also want to avoid common parenting white lies such as the idea that a tooth fairy visits and leaves money under the pillow when a tooth falls out.
Teaching Them About Not Stealing
When a child sees something he or she wants, it is often their natural inclination to simply take it. Teaching your child about not stealing is an important task. Explain that you could be held responsible for your child’s behavior. Let them know about the possible legal ramifications of their actions throughout life including, misdemeanor or felony charges. Consider speaking with a store manager, loss prevention officer, police officer or security guard about the consequences of theft.
Speaking and Behaving Respectfully
It is easy for adults to let an insult or curse word fly during a bout of anger or frustration. Teaching your child to speak and act respectfully is important. One way you can do this is to think before you speak. You can also explain the idea of doing more listening than talking. Model appropriate behavior, such as being polite when waiting in line, holding the door open for others and being quiet in sensitive environments such as hospital waiting rooms.
Acting with Generosity
Young children often have a difficult time with being generous. Selfishness is a natural part of childhood. Teaching your kids about sharing is one important way to demonstrate generosity. You can also teach your kids about generosity through example, such as by sharing your snack or donating cash to a charitable organization that you feel strongly about.
Every day is a new opportunity to help your child develop the morals and values that are important to you. Keep trying and demonstrating your values, because you are the best example that your child will see. When your child does make an action that is not consistent with your values, explain why that behavior was not acceptable and offer another chance for your child to get it right.