Values

Developing your child's character by teaching values such as honesty, respect, and tolerance are an important part of parenting.

Be a good role model
The key to teaching your child values is to have a plan and to be a role model. Parents need to understand that children learn by observing their parents' actions. If parents behave in an honest and value-focused way, their children will learn from their actions. The key principle is role modeling the type of behavior you want your child to learn. This means being honest and respectful in dealing with other people. It also means being respectful and considerate when dealing with your spouse. If children see their parents behaving disrespectfully towards each other, they will learn these types of behaviors.

Explain values through stories and examples
Secondly, it is important to talk about different values and moral decisions with your children. For example, sitting around the kitchen table, you might talk about various social situations that may occur and how children should handle those situations. One example might be if you bought something at the store and the clerk gave you $10 extra in change, what would you do? Of course we would indicate that the right thing to do is to return the $10. In addition, the child needs to understand that the clerk at the store is probably going to end up paying the $10 out of his or her own pocket because of the mistake.

Teach your children about manners and social etiquette
It is very important that children learn to be appreciative of others and to show their respect towards other people. This means saying the important words "please" and "thank you." Children should be taught to address adults as "Mr." or "Mrs." unless the adults specify otherwise. They should also be taught social graces, such as shaking a person's hand and learning to maintain eye contact with the person who is talking to them.

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