Exploring Moral Values with Your Child

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Parenting is undoubtedly a challenge. Not only must we put food on the table for our children, ensure there’s a safe place for them to call home, and help them with their homework, but we must also help them become good people with a valuable set of morals to live by. What you teach your child while they’re young will help guide them and determine whether or not they grow into good, kind adults. Here are some tips from an independent school in Essex on exploring moral values with your child…

Respect
Discuss the concept of respect with your child. Ask them if they know what it means and provide some examples of respectful and disrespectful behaviour. For example, the man in the shop who was yelling at the staff was portraying his anger in a disrespectful way, which only made the problem worse. When your child said “thank you for having me” after spending time at someone else’s house, they were displaying respectful behaviour. When your child has a temper tantrum and shouts at you, point out that they are being disrespectful, so that they understand the difference. Teach your child that all people should be treated with respect, as we are all equals.

Politeness
Being polite is similar to being respectful, in that both require us to remember our manners. Remind your child to say please, thank you, and sorry when necessary until they remember to say it without your prompt. Explain to them that when people are talking, it’s polite to listen rather than butting in and talking over people. Teach them that if they are impolite and unpleasant, people will be less likely to want to be their friend.

Gratitude
As mentioned above, saying thank you is important, but gratitude extends beyond this. Help your child understand the concept of gratitude by asking them to share a few things they appreciate each day. This will help them develop an optimistic attitude, as they will be more inclined to focus on the good things that happen to them rather than the bad. It will also help them acknowledge the kind things that other people do for them.

Sharing
When your child is playing with their siblings or friends, teach them the importance of sharing. The same applies when they are eating a bag of sweets or another treat; offering to others is a kind thing to do. Let your child know that sharing is kind and if they share with other people, those people are more likely to share back.

Of course, there are lots more moral values that you can explore with your child, many of which you’re probably teaching them without even realising. They will also learn various moral values and social skills from their teachers, peers, and other influential people in their lives, but it’s crucial that you try to be a good role model nonetheless.

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