As a parent you are responsible for helping to shape your child into the person, they will grow up to become. One of the most important tasks is to teach your child to have a strong set of core values that will help them grow into thoughtful, resilient adults. Morals and values differ between cultures and will look slightly different within each family; however, the core message usually remains the same, focussing on respect, resilience and kindness. An independent school in London has shared their insights on the best areas to focus on when starting to explore moral values with your child.
Being respectful of other people is the cornerstone of a good set of moral values. Teach your child to respect shared values by setting out a list of family rules. These can be things such as learning to apologise to one another and using good manners. When everyone lives by these mutual rules your child will learn the importance of treating everyone fairly and equally. Not only should children learn to respect common values, but they must also learn to respect people for their differences. Teaching children about other cultures will show them that although people may have many differences, everyone is equal and deserving of respect.
Empathy and respect go hand in hand as empathy teaches us to value the thoughts and opinions of someone else, regardless of whether or not they mirror our own. You can practice empathy with younger children by teaching them to recognise emotions. Play a game where you each go through a sequence of facial expressions and have the other guess which emotion is being portrayed. This will encourage your child to recognise various emotions in other people.
Resilience and determination are important traits, especially as children grow up and start to become increasingly independent. Children must experience a certain amount of failure in order to learn to pick themselves up and try again when things go wrong. If your child joins a club or starts a new hobby it’s important to encourage them to stick with it, even if they struggle initially. Learning to master the art of patience and determination is priceless and encourages children to see their failures as lessons.