Values are the personal standards by which you choose to live. For example, do you strive to be honest in all things? Then likely you want to instill that moral value in your children.
Values also include ethical standards. For example, a person with solid ethics is industrious, fair, and considerate of others—traits that are best developed while a person is still young.
BIBLE PRINCIPLE: “Train a child in the way he should go; even when he grows old he will not depart from it.”—Proverbs 22:6, footnote.
WHY IT MATTERS
In the age of technology, moral values are essential. “Bad influences can be accessed on any mobile device at any time,” says a mother named Karyn. “Our children could be sitting right next to us while they’re watching something indecent!”
BIBLE PRINCIPLE: “Mature people . . . have their powers of discernment trained to distinguish both right and wrong.”—Hebrews 5:14.
Ethical values are essential too. That includes extending simple courtesies (such as saying “please” and “thank you”) and showing concern for others—a value that has become rare, as people seem more interested in devices than they are in people.
BIBLE PRINCIPLE: “Just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them.”—Luke 6:31.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
State your moral values. For example, research shows that teenagers are more likely to abstain from premarital sex if they have been given the clear message that such conduct is wrong.
TIP: Use a current event to initiate a discussion about values. For example, if the news reports a hate crime, you could say: “It’s horrible the way some people show such anger toward others. How do you think people become like that?”
“It’s a lot harder for children to choose between right and wrong if they don’t know what is right or wrong.”—Brandon.
Teach ethical values. Even younger children can learn to say “please” and “thank you” and to show regard for others. “The more children see that they are part of something larger than themselves—a family, a school, a community—the more readily they perform acts of kindness that benefit everyone, not just themselves,” says the book Parenting Without Borders.
TIP: Assign chores to your children to help them learn the value of serving others.
“If our children get used to doing chores now, they won’t be shocked when they live on their own. Taking care of responsibilities will already be a part of their life.”—Tara.