‘Moral values’ or ‘Ethics’ are the set of intellectual beliefs, principles and attitude that are held by a person, community or society towards idea, object, action or anything else. Based on it, one classifies the various events or objects into ‘Good’ or ‘Evil/Bad’. The moral values have always been variable based on time, community, religion, country, situation etc.
The moral values influence the thinking, character, personality and behavior of an individual. We all want our child to develop respect, kindness & compassion towards others, honesty, courage, perseverance, hard work, self-discipline and the power to choose what is right. In fact as a parent, it is our ‘Moral Responsibility’ to inculcate these moral values in the children as we are the first teacher. Another epicenter of child’s learning is School – Mentors and Friends.
The moral values cannot be preached or forced, until the child sees it being practiced by everyone he is influenced with. May it be family, friends, teachers or neighbors? When we preach, they only listen, but, when we practice, they observe, analyze, develop their own views and practice themselves.
The various modalities that can help you as a parent to inculcate moral values in your child are-
1- What you sow, so shall you reap!
Try to give the best possible atmosphere for your child to grow.
The popular poem by Dorothy Law Nolte ’Children learn what they live’, explains it all-
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns what envy is.
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition, he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing, he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with honesty and fairness, he learns what truth and justice are.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If you live with serenity, your child will live with peace of mind.
With what is your child living?
2- Use the Power of Communication efficiently.
Parents who are able to connect with their children find it easier to teach them moral values.
-Talk with the children. Talk about what is ‘Right’ and what is ‘Wrong’.
-Do not dictate rules, but discuss their importance in life. Encourage them to make their own decisions.
-Try to connect with them when they have something to say. Eye to eye contact, patient hearing without any interruption, avoiding unnecessary distractions by using mobile phones or laptops would give them the sense of importance.
-Always remember, actions speak more than words. It isn’t what you say, it’s what you do.
3- Bed time stories.
Reading bed time moral stories is one of the time tested way to inculcate positive values in life. It strengthens the bond between parents and child. It encourages the child to develop reading & comprehension ability.
4- Help him choose his friends.
A man is known by the company he keeps. Teach your child the importance of having friends with good qualities in life, especially who are more in sync with the family values.
5- No gain without Pain!
Do not let your children take the easy way out of challenges. Teach them to take the responsibilities and stand by them. They should learn that there is no short cut to success.
Do not surrender to all the demands of your children else they will never learn to respect your infinite efforts and innumerable pains that you have undertaken to give them the best parenting.
6- Reward-Point system- Innovative way to encourage moral values and banking knowledge.
Maintain a ‘Reward-Point Diary’ for children. Reward a positive credit point for every good and noble work the child does like greeting elders, helping in household works, finishing home work in time, helping siblings etc. and debit a negative point and for all the socially unacceptable behavior or mischief that he do. Calculate the accumulated points at daily, weekly and monthly intervals to constantly motivate him.
Give the child the liberty to encash accumulated points earned to buy his gifts, plan his weekends, party with friends etc. In case his demand is justified but he do not have enough credit in his account, lend him the additional points and he would repay by his good deeds in a defined timeline.
This way he would learn to
– Meet his own requirements and expenses with his own credit points earned by hard work.
– Learn to manage his balance sheets, understand the concept of credit, debit, and profit or loss.
– Learn to save his points for future crisis.
– Never complain for those demands that could not be fulfilled as he would realize that he could have bought if he had accumulated enough.
7- Work-Life Balance!
In the blind race to success or pressures to fulfill the materialistic demands of the family, we often neglect their emotional needs. A child who do not receive adequate tender love and care at home develop the sense of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness and finally land up with Attention deficit hyperkinetic disorders (ADHD).
These children are often agitated, depressed, short tempered, have poor memory and unstable behavior.
It is very important for parents to maintain a healthy work-life balance and address the emotional need of the child. That way the child would also learn the same.
8- Apologize when you are wrong.
Do not hesitate to apologize for your mistakes. Do not feel offended and over-react when they question your actions or authority. This shows them that you value and respect their opinion and feelings and they would also learn to stand by truth and what is right.
Also, teach them the power of forgiveness.
9- Orphanage teach us to count our blessings and thank God!
Let your child celebrate his birthday or success with the underprivileged or handicapped children. This way they would learn to thank the Almighty for all the blessings that he has showered on them. They would also realize how lucky they are to live under your shelter against those orphans.
10- Blessings that we have any, is contributed by many!
Help your child to develop the sense of gratitude towards others for their support. He should realize that whatever success he enjoys today is due to someone else’s support, blessings and kindness, May it be his teachers, friends or other members of the society.
11- Red means stop, Green means Go!
Teach your child not to make any hasty decision or react when in Anger. Anger doesn’t solve anything. It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything.
12- We become what we think about!
Use life experiences data to develop Intellect. Try to seek opinion of your child on various good or bad events and situations that you encounter in life. Try to ask open ended questions that would help their intellect and get them thinking about values.
13- Monitor Television and Internet use.
You cannot and should not let your child live in isolation from rest of the world. It is their right and responsibility to learn what is happening in the world.
But, at the same time you should also keep a watch and monitor their television and internet use. Make a time table for their use. Keep your TV and Computer in a place where everyone is around so that they don’t surf without supervision.
Remember, that little God has chosen you as Parents to come into this world. It is your moral responsibility to give the best possible opportunities to help him grow as an Asset for the Mankind and not as a Liability.
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