Children are very impressionable and easily absorb messages and lessons that they will carry on with them throughout their entire life. That’s why it is so crucial to promote certain morals and values when they are young.
As a parent, it’s not only your job to make sure your family is physically well; you also must ensure they grow up with a healthy mind and a strong code of ethics. All children need to learn values such as patience, honesty, and charity to grow into positive and well-functioning adults.
However, teaching morals can be tricky with children. You need to ensure they get the message, but you also don’t want to bore them with a lecture. Read on for some tips on how to instill morality in your children.
Practice What You Preach
You won’t successfully promote morals to your children if you don’t model them yourselves. Not only should you set a good example for your kids, but children also learn better from examples rather than being lectured.
For example, if you keep teaching them about the importance of honesty, but then they frequently catch you lying, then they are just going to mimic your behavior. That’s why you should be clear about which morals you wish to teach and then model them yourself.
Reward Good Behavior
Positive reinforcement is the best way to ensure your children establish good habits and morals. It encourages them to keep the behavior going, which means they will continue to exhibit those morals well into adulthood.
There are many ways to positively enforce good behavior in your children. The best way is to praise the specific behavior. For example, you can say, “Thank you for being so honest with me.” or “You did a great job being patient while I finished shopping.” It’s important to praise the specific behavior and not just give general praise so that they will continue using those values in the future.
Share Personal Stories That Exhibit Morals
Children absorb lessons well through stories. These are entertaining ways to teach your children valuable lessons. It’s why Aesop’s Fables are so popular; they are entertaining stories that teach valuable lessons.
Children also love to hear stories about their parents. When they are young, they adore their caregivers and want to know all about them. Therefore, you should try to find experiences in your own life that you can share that will also instill morals in your children. The experience will strengthen your bond as well as develop your child’s character.
Use Experiences As Morality Lessons
In addition to using past stories as lessons, you can also use present experiences as ways to teach morals. If you keep an open mind, there are plenty of opportunities to model and teach morals every day.
For example, while waiting in a long line at the grocery store, you can use the opportunity to show the importance of patience. Or, if they are impatient about dinner taking too long, you can use the opportunity to demonstrate how our achievements and creations (in this case, dinner) are at their best when we are patient, dedicated, and put in hard work.
Monitor Media Usage
As mentioned before, children are impressionable. They often absorb the values and lessons from the media they watch and implement them in their own lives.
However, media is not always positive and may encourage bad habits or values. Therefore, if you want your child to grow up with good morals, you should monitor the media they consume. This includes television and movies, as well as social media and online videos.
Once your children are teenagers, you should give them some freedom to choose what they watch. However, when they are young or just entering adolescence, monitor their media to ensure they are learning about healthy morals and values.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.