Tips For Raising Children

8 Essential Tips For Raising Children With Value & Virtue

February 23, 2024

Raising children to have strong values and character is one of the most important jobs as a parent or foster carer. Instilling virtues like honesty, kindness, respect, responsibility, and perseverance in children from a young age can positively impact their future. Though parenting with intention in this area takes time and effort, focusing on value development is worthwhile for raising children of outstanding character.

1. Model The Values You Want To See

Children are always observing and learning from parents and caregivers. Whether you’re bringing up your own children or long-term fostering, setting a positive example by living the values you want your children to develop is essential. When you model virtues in your words, actions, and attitudes, children are more likely to adopt those values.

2. Praise The Right Behaviours

Notice times when your child demonstrates virtuous qualities and offer specific praise. For example, if they show kindness to a sibling or classmate, let them know you appreciate their kindness, and it brings joy to others. This positive reinforcement encourages more of that behaviour.

3. Discuss Values & Morals

Have open conversations about values like integrity, compassion, courage, humility, and justice. Share real-life stories that reveal these virtues. Discuss moral dilemmas from books, films or current events. Ask thoughtful questions to understand their reasoning around ethical issues. These discussions help shape their character.

4. Read Inspiring Books & Biographies

Books and biographies of inspiring figures provide meaningful ways for children to learn values. Find age-appropriate titles that promote traits like dedication, equality, resilience, generosity, and respect. Seeing how virtuous qualities help people overcome obstacles and make a difference provides a memorable lesson.

5. Find Heros & Heroines

In addition to book characters, point out the virtues demonstrated by heroes and heroines in everyday life. These could include people in your community, extended family, or historical figures like doctors volunteering during the pandemic. Discussing acts of courage, self-sacrifice and integrity shown by people making a positive impact on others inspires children with real-life role models.

6. Teach Stewardship & Responsibility

Assigning regular chores appropriate for a child’s age helps them learn responsibility. As they show follow through on tasks like making their bed, tidying their room, caring for pets or assisting with gardenwork, affirm their efforts. Expand opportunities for stewardship as they get older by involving them in household duties, volunteering and part-time jobs.

7. Establish Family Values

Come together as a family to identify 3-5 core values you want upheld in your home. Display these prominently as a reminder. Consider values like forgiveness, honesty, service, patience, trustworthiness. Refer back to these when challenging situations arise and let them guide your decisions and responses as a family.

8. Address Character Weaknesses

When children demonstrate less desirable traits like lying, cheating, bullying or selfishness, view it as a teaching opportunity. Calmly address the behaviour by explaining why it was problematic and discussing better choices according to your family values.

While teaching children values and virtues requires much time and diligent effort from parents and carers, it is one of the most rewarding investments we can make. Though we may not see the fruits of instilling positive character traits right away, they take root and blossom over years of careful tending.

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