Raising a child is by far one of the hardest endeavors ever if you want to do it properly. Still, it is almost impossible to discern what a proper way denotes.
Every child is a distinct individual, and both economic and social circumstances can impact your methods drastically. This goes without mentioning countless “instructions,” guidebooks and advice that will be hurled your way. At the end of the day, there are several pretty basic things you need to instill in your children’s developing minds to create strong foundations for their further development.
The proper way to begin is to teach your children to nurture the right values. Here are 4 steps to help you along the way.
1. Start with the Truth
Telling the truth all the time is a hard pill to swallow even for most adults. However, truthfulness is a cornerstone upon which you can build the strongest foundation for your child’s development.
Even if you are an atheist, you have to appreciate the fact that most widespread religions around the world have this fundamental principle at their core – listen to what people are saying, and if you have something to say, tell the truth.
Now, one can easily argue that there is no such thing as a universal truth, which certainly makes sense, but your child should be encouraged to express their version of the truth from early on. All children begin to lie at a very early age, which is an important aspect of their development.
Nevertheless, they should be discouraged from doing so at every step. Adults who tell the truth tend to be psychologically more stable individuals than those who do not, and living their life according to this principle will make the people around them happier as well. However, if you want your child to adopt such an elemental principle, you have to practice what you preach.
2. Set a Good Example
If you want to teach your children the right values, you have to model them whenever you are in their company. Children are much more perceptive than you might originally think. Therefore, if they notice a jarring discrepancy between your words and your behavior, they will either ignore your instructions or worse – learn that lying and being two-faced is valid.
All people are flawed, so such practice is not only a chance to teach your children not to make some of your fundamental and glaring mistakes but to try and correct them yourself. Of course, there are certain deeply rooted mechanisms of thought and behavior you cannot fix as they have become an intrinsic part of your character, but nurturing the right values begins with you, and these values are usually elegantly simple. This means you can learn how to re-apply them as you teach your child. However, if you still feel your teaching skills are not up to par, it is absolutely okay to visit institutions such as Hornsby early learning center if they share your parenting values.
3. Empathy is a Road to Respect
If you teach your children empathy while they are still very young, they will almost certainly grow into open minded and compassionate individuals. Good social connections and a big web of friends will increase the child’s chance of success as they reach adulthood.
The tricky thing about empathy is that the notion of it cannot be verbalized to the child without sounding too abstract. Instead, encourage them when they want to help someone, or when they feel the need to coddle animals. This will put them on the right track.
Children that learn empathy while they are still very young are bound to be more respectful of other individuals. They will understand what it means to respect someone’s personal boundaries – and this will, in turn, teach them to demand respect for their own. Such line of thinking eventually leads to developing strong integrity as a character which, when coupled with a habit, to tell the truth, will turn your child into a force of nature.
4. Talk About Your Values But Don’t Lecture
There are a few nuances about raising your child according to the right values that need to be adhered to for successful implementation.
First of all, you should avoid being forceful in any way. If you lecture your children and use on-the-nose examples, they can end up feeling anxious, or just plain repelled by your approach.
This is where you need to get sneaky. When you feel your child is up to no good in a certain way, try to elegantly start a conversation about your values. Keep it vague – don’t use concrete examples and talk about more generalized opinions. If you still plan to use an example, do not be too specific. It is quite enough to explicitly state your values and, more importantly, why you stick to them and how it benefits your existence.
In the end, it is crucial to avoid overprotecting your child. If you intend to teach them to be honest and tell the truth, you cannot create a warped picture of the world for them. Now, there are some truths that are too harsh for children, but once they engage you with certain inconvenient questions, it is really important to resist your urges to paint the answer with false colors.
Children who understand themselves and the world around them well enough will be better equipped to tackle challenges.