Teaching children values

A compilation

When I think back on my own childhood, images of love, encouragement, and warm family memories flood my mind. I recall evenings on my dad’s lap listening to him read to me for hours. I have no doubt that those experiences instilled in me a lifelong love of books. Four decades later I can still hear my mom’s words, “Treat everyone with kindness, Michele,” in the same tone she used when I was young. The values that my parents modelled—perseverance, compassion, acceptance, and believing in myself—are the same ones that guide my life today. And they are the same values I try to model to my own children. You don’t need research to prove your influence: just one moment of catching your child imitating your behaviour or repeating your words or emulating your values should confirm that you do make a difference.

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Slow to speak

The importance of developing our listening ability is directly affirmed by James, a man who knew Jesus intimately: “Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak.” The two terse commands contained in the beginning of this verse fit nicely together. When we take time to listen responsively—and avoid the error of answering with authoritative pronouncements—the messages given back to us by our children are far less likely to be obnoxiously defensive. This, in turn, reduces the tension and may well help us avoid angry exchanges.—Dr. Bob Pedrick


How would you feel if someone who was [in a position of authority over you] got angry and screamed at you?

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It takes a child

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.—John 7:24

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi there.” He pounded his fat baby hands on the high-chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He then wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment.

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Talk time

Children will behave more responsibly and maturely if they are talked to with the same respect you would give an adult. If a child feels that you expect him to behave in a responsible way, then he’ll more than likely try to fulfill your expectations. We should try as much as possible to put ourselves in our children’s place and communicate with them in the way that we would like to be communicated with if we were them. Maria Fontaine


Do you ever sit down with your child and talk for a few minutes only about his or her concerns? Finding a few minutes each day to do this will pay handsome dividends in building a relationship of loving trust with your child.

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Communicating with children

Evonne Weinhaus and Karen Friedman

Remember the old adage, “Silence is golden”? As parents, we have a hard time with this notion. We believe that when a child makes a statement, he is implicitly asking for a response. And, of course, we oblige, thinking that communication with our child is important. But here’s a new notion for you: You don’t have to respond to every comment that comes out of your child’s mouth. Sometimes the most effective form of communication is keeping silent. There are times when it’s okay for your child to have the first, the last, and the only word.

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