Setting family values

Photo by Agung Pandit Wiguna on Pexels.com

Values are the beliefs we have regarding what is right and what is wrong, what is ideal and what is unfitting, what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, and what is appropriate and what is inappropriate. They are shown through our gestures, actions, attitudes, speech, and thoughts. They also determine our sense of morality and guide us towards exhibiting moral qualities such as honesty, humility, decency, respect, tolerance, and perseverance. People who lack these moral qualities due to absence of family values or due to exposure to the indecent practices of family members may exhibit such qualities as deceitfulness, arrogance, unruliness, impoliteness, laziness, bigotry, and pessimism. 

One of the greatest factors that shapes a person’s personality is the inculcation of family values by his/her parent(s). Children who show positive qualities such as academic seriousness, diligence, punctuality, humility, and empathy are most likely under the guidance of, and are educated by, parents who have instilled these values in them. On the other hand, children who exhibit social vices may have been raised in families who either lack family values or are perpetrators of these immoral acts. Children learn family values by being taught by their parents, by seeing it constantly upheld within the family, and by being surrounded by people who share these values. Therefore, as a parent, setting family values involves 

Knowing what values to teach

Now, this is very important. Views concerning morality and character tend to vary among people. While Kate’s father thinks that stubbornness is an essential virtue, Joana’s father may think differently. What you may consider as quality family values may be considered by another person as poor family values. Christian teachings may be reviled by atheists, and atheistic teachings may be repulsive to Christians. Muslims have their moral and religious beliefs, which are at variance with other religions. In other words, what one person considers to be wise and ethical may not be viewed as such by another person. Therefore, it is important to know what values to teach. 

Being an embodiment of the values you teach

Children learn best through other people’s actions, especially those people closest to them. While you must educate your child about what values to have, they should also be able to see that you practice what you teach. If you want your child to show honesty, practice honesty. And if you want your child to show humility, be a humble person. We are not only shaped by the words of our parents, but also by their actions. 

Establishing a strong bond with your child

Studies have shown that children who are very close friends with their parents tend to be better-behaved and industrious than children who lack sufficient parental attention. By being a very close friend to your child, your child sees you as someone to trust, respect your feelings, and hate to disappoint you. In other words, your child comes to respect you, rather than fear you. You can achieve this by being less controlling of and more communicative with your children. They learn from what you say. Also, it takes time to change, so be patient and be positive. 

Let your child experience his/her own journey

While you should educate your child concerning what is appropriate and what is inappropriate, allow them to make their own decisions, be it the right ones or the wrong ones. Your children deserve to experience their own journey by making their own choices. They deserve to make their own mistakes, learn from such mistakes, and take responsibility for their good or bad choices. Your children are not your possession; you are merely their guardian. They exist to fulfil their dreams and discover who they are. Therefore, do not live their lives for them. They have existed to figure out their own path.