5 values we must teach our children

By Kilee Luthi -FamilyShare

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 We live in a world that changes constantly: from the education system to political stances, technology, parenting styles, and morals.

Opinions fly everywhere, and children learn from what happens around them. The problem is when children learn from everything everywhere all the time. How do parents know the things kids learn will actually help them become a positive, contributing member of society as an adult?

We want our children to be successful and happy, but when children take life-lessons from this fast-paced, ever-changing world, how do we know what they’ll become? We don’t.

However, as a parent, you can take some matters into your ownhands. You can teach your children values that will help them find true success as adults.

Five values that all children must learn include compassion, gratitude, integrity, commitment and patience.

With these values, children can build their lives to reach their highest potential.

1. Compassion

It’s hard, even as adults, to look beyond ourselves. Because of the society in which we live, where we are taught to look out for number one, we tend to forget that others need our love and companionship.

Living a life of selfishness can lead to isolation and bitterness. A life of compassion can lead to understanding, strength, friendship and joy.

Compassion includes selflessness, empathy, mercy, tolerance, kindness, love and charity. These values help us build positive relationships with surrounding people, along with ourselves. We must teach children to find opportunities to show compassion.

This may be through helping children understand other people’s backgrounds — lessening judgment of others’ situations, helping children do nice things for their siblings or friends who are having a bad day, or teaching them self-compassion when they feel like they don’t measure up. Teaching children compassion will go far.

As they grow older, compassionate children will be able to find opportunities to make a difference for others, leading them to feel more secure, joyful and self-confident.

2. Gratitude

It’s hard to be grateful for what we have when society tells us we need more. When we aren’t grateful for what we have, life feels less satisfying.

If we teach our children to be content with what they have and grateful for the little things that happen in their lives, it would be game-changing for their futures.

Children must understand the beauty of gratitude. True happiness doesn’t come from the material possessions that society teaches us we need more and more of. It results from a security and confidence with life that comes from the attitude of gratitude, no matter the circumstance.

In my first year of teaching, I’ve found that children who constantly seek after more struggle with various negativities, such as negative self-concept and depression.

That isn’t to say gratitude would automatically fix these problems, but it could soften the blow. If children are grateful for what they have, the constant need for more wouldn’t be so saturated in their motivations, actions and desires.

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3. Integrity

Integrity is a high level of honesty in all dealings with yourself and others. As I have taught high school, I’ve been surprised at the lack of integrity I’ve seen in teenagers. Many do not understand that certain things, such as copying a friend’s homework, are dishonest. Students have informed me things like that are only wrong if you get caught, but if you don’t get caught then it doesn’t really matter.

 

A person’s ability to act with integrity will have a direct correlation to their reliability, responsibility, and self-confidence. If they rely on cheating or sneaking to get what they want, things may go their way for a while.

Sooner or later, however, it will likely come back to hurt them and the people they love.

For example, they could be mistrustful since they know they can’t be trusted. They could get fired from a job for cheating the company. Or their closest relationships could be marred by lies and betrayal.

For children to truly be successful and know they have earned it, they need to be taught to exercise integrity.

4. Patience

Some things take months or years to achieve, but most kids wouldn’t know that based on what they see every day. We live in an age of fast-food and high-speed internet.

We have computers in our pockets that give quick, easy access to any information we desire. It’s no wonder patience is becoming a lost virtue.

Children can learn patience by doing chores to earn an allowance and saving their money to pay for things they want. They can learn patience by learning to garden and patiently nurture the plants to help them grow.

Children can learn patience by accepting failure. They might not win that basketball championship, master the piano right away, or get an A on their report card. But as children continue to work hard to achieve their goals, they will learn the art of patience.

Good things come over time, and the reward is so much better after heart and effort have been put into achieving the goal.

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5. Commitment

These days, so many practices are in place that allow people to be non-committal. Divorce rates are high. Cohabitation practices are high. People run from job to job, trying to find the one that suits them best. And when the going gets rough, people tend to just quit.

The ability to commit to something and see it through is a talent that must be practiced. It’s easy to quit to escape the hard things in life. However, taking ownership and facing trials builds a strength that is necessary for living a life of fullness and joy.

Children can learn commitment through things such as doing chores or being involved in extracurricular activities.

Children learn by example and experience. If you create an atmosphere and set an example of these values in your home, the kids will catch on and live a fuller life with high potential. 

Kilee is passionate about parenting and child development, human relations, nutrition and wellness, culinary, and fashion design.

5 incredibly addictive games for bored kids and long waits

By Katie Nielsen

 

Never be bothered by bored children again on long car trips or long lines

Ever been standing in a long line in the grocery store with a bored kid hanging on each arm? Ever sit for an interminable wait at the DMV with one child running circles around the lobby, one sorting through your neighbor’s purse, and one telling you for the fifth time, “I have to go potty!” At these moments, some type of distraction to keep your kids occupied is absolutely invaluable. In this mobile device era, all you might need is the right app to give yourself a few minutes peace. Here are 5 of the best free apps for kids to play during car trips, grocery line waits, haircut appointments, doctor office visits . . . 

Tamagotchi L.i.f.e.

It’s back — the loveable, adorable little critter that was the key chain pal of kids of the 90’s is now available for iPhones andAndroids. It includes more than 110 past Tamagotchi characters and over 100 levels of gameplay. You simply connect three matching shapes to feed your pet and make it grow. The best part — there’s no clean up, no food to buy, and it won’t dirty your rug. It’s the best pet a child (and parent) could wish for.

Flappy 2048

A combination of two popular games, Flappy Bird and 2048, thisgame challenges you to reach the score of 2048 by tapping the screen so a floating block remains on the board and doesn’t hit the barriers. It sounds silly and simple, but I downloaded the app just to test it before writing about it, and I accidentally spent a further 10 minutes trying to pass those frustrating barriers. A testament to its addictiveness.

Robot Unicorn Attack 2

This appeals to both boys and girls — the robot aspect and action attracts the boys while the unicorn and mythical landscape attracts the girls. Its best aspect is arguably the 80’s soundtrack that goes with it. The main gist of the game is you control a motorized steed as it smashes monsters and dodges obstacles. You try to get the farthest score over three tries, making it easy to say when it’s the next person’s turn to play.

Real Racing 3

The makers of Real Racing have released a new version of their high quality racing game for free. It includes choices of real cars to race and lots of tracks to try. You can increase the variety with in-app purchases, but that is completely optional. I’ll have to keep this game away from my husband.

Temple Run 2

With better graphics and more varieties of sequences than its predecessor, this app is nothing short of addictive. The goal is to guide your avatar as far as you can without falling off the path. Motions required are simple swipes across the screen and the more coins you gather, the more abilities you can unlock.


You no longer have to dread that long wait at the DMV. Just pack along a mobile device with one or two of these games, and bring a book for yourself. You’ll actually be able to read it, for once.

How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

By Susan Swann

 

Have you unintentionally created a family atmosphere where the way your children perform counts for more than who they are?

| Sometimes out of a sense of wanting what’s best for our children, we set unrealistically high expectations. In so doing, we may unwittingly create a family atmosphere where the way our children perform seems to count for more than who they are. Our children may then start to feel they’re not measuring up — no matter how hard they try, it will never be good enough for us.

CONDITIONING LOVE ON PERFORMANCE

Love becomes elusive for these precious little people, perhaps even remaining unexpressed inside the family. Love, to these children, begins to feel conditioned on performance. When our children do not experience our verbal approval and appreciation of who they are, and not simply our approval of what they do, it becomes hard for them to become strong and confident adults. Instead, they often grow up seeking for the outside validation that they never got at home.

TURNING MISTAKES INTO FATAL FLAWS

Our children may also come to believe that making mistakes is never an option, instead of realizing that making mistakes and learning from those mistakes, is a normal and natural part of everyone’s experience. Our children also need to hear compliments from us when they’ve done a good job with no conditional strings attached. Don’t add a lecture on how what they’ve done, could have been done better.

In an article titled, “Raising a Human Being, Not a Human Doing,” published in Psychology Today, Dr. Jim Taylor observed, “Children who base their self-esteem on what they do rather than on who they are place themselves in a desperate and untenable position . . . they feel worthless and undeserving of love . . . they feel as if they must be successful to be happy, yet, paradoxically, even when they are successful, they are not happy.”

TRYING TO USE CRITICISM TO MOTIVATE
It gets even worse when we as parents become excessively critical and even resort to labeling or name calling, in a misguided effort to motivate our children to do better: “You are lazy, you are spoiled, you are selfish, you are fat.” Children may even begin to believe that they are at the heart of family problems. “This is your fault. You caused our problems.”

 

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When parental love turns to parental blame, and becomes conditional and difficult to come by, it produces in our children a sense of emotional emptiness. They become detached and distant, with a high need for approval from others, instead of feeling confident both in who they are and what they can do. They may become unable to effectively experience or express their feelings and opinions, which produces in them a sense of loneliness and isolation from others.

RAISING OUR CHILDREN TO VALUE WHO THEY ARE

Our goal as parents is to raise our children to value who they are, not just to value what they do. We want them to care about being honest, kind and responsible human beings who love and connect with others, along with finding satisfaction in their achievements. We want them to learn to be persistent, to be problem solvers, to understand and accept that a certain amount of failure is expected, in order for them to learn and grow into successful adults.

LOVING OUR CHILDREN UNCONDITIONALLY PRODUCES HAPPY ADULTS
Most of all, we want our children to know that when things go wrong, we will be there, waiting for them, to listen and to help them sort it all out. We want them to know that we are interested in what they are interested in, that we care about what they care about. We want them to feel that our love for them is deep and abiding. We should not assume that our children will know that we love them, whether we express it to them or not. We need to tell them we love them, and tell them often. We need to allow them to change, progress and grow, and not pigeon hole them in events and acts of the past.

Loving our children unconditionally does not mean that we don’t want our children to do their best. Of course we do. We want them to achieve, to reach their goals, and we also want them to become caring, ethical and happy human beings.