Important Values To Teach Young Children at an Early Age
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When we think about what a child should be able to do by the time, they are five years old, we frequently center our attention on getting them ready with the skills they will require when they begin attending school. We are interested in determining whether or not they are capable of performing fundamental tasks such as buttoning their coat and counting to ten.
However, their values will actually serve as the basis for who they are, both during their school years and in the life that lies ahead of them. These skills are, of course, important and form the bedrock of a smooth transition to primary school. At what age should you begin instilling the most important values in your child, and what are those values?
- Honesty and Integrity
During their development, children will go through a stage in which they learn to tell fibs or lie. Before reaching this point, establishing the groundwork for an honest perspective can be of great assistance.
Telling fibs can come about when someone is afraid of getting into trouble. Therefore, it is important to make an effort to ensure that a child’s truthful statements are taken seriously and that they are not punished (in themselves).
You can also make it abundantly clear that you mean what you say (tell the truth) by demonstrating that you follow through on what you say and say what you mean.
- Sharing and Taking Turns
Children, from the time they are infants until they are young children, develop a keen awareness of territory and property. Having the ability to share in a relaxed manner, on the other hand, is going to make their lives much simpler and easier in the long run. This comes more naturally to some kids than it does to others. Tea parties and other role-playing games are fun ways to foster a culture of generosity and sharing among participants. The idea of “taking turns” can also be found in more straightforward board games.
Throughout their formative years, you will need to stress the importance of respect to them on numerous occasions. On the other hand, prior to the age of five is an excellent time to begin laying the foundation for future respectful behaviour.
A child will perhaps learn this value more than any other value by watching the adults around them and modelling their behaviour after seeing them. Do you treat others with respect when you speak to them? Do you respect the home’s items and the home itself? When you talk with your child, do you keep in mind that you should use proper manners?
You will be able to progress to more advanced methods of teaching respect once your child has mastered the fundamental building blocks of courtesy and respect. For instance, instructing students on how to respect the differing viewpoints of others.
Children may give the impression of having a natural tendency to engage in cycles of tit-for-tat behaviour. Quickly and with very little self-control, retaliation is carried out. In nursery, they are taught the importance of being kind to others. In that case, even when they are treated in the opposite manner, this will help them de-escalate tense situations and restore harmony to their relationships.
This extends to the idea of encouraging them to have the capacity to give as well as a generous spirit.
- The value of justice and making amends
The vast majority of young children have an acute sense of justice, but they lack the maturity to turn this situation on its head when they are the ones who need to make amends. When it comes time for them to make amends, even though they “didn’t do it on purpose,” this is a particularly difficult concept for them to wrap their heads around.
At the age of five, you should start working on getting your child to move beyond the basic, memorized response of “I’m sorry” to different circumstances. They need to start thinking about the repercussions of their actions, even the unintentional ones, and how they can make amends for what they’ve done.
For instance, if they make a mess by spilling a drink, they need to pitch in and help clean it up. Or, if they say something mean that hurts someone else, they can consider drawing that person a picture as a way to apologize and express their remorse.
Acknowledging a child’s negative feelings and sense of injustice is important and explaining why it is important to make amends regardless of the situation is crucial. Children have a right to express how they feel, but they also have a responsibility to learn how to the right wrongs.
When a child matures, their perspective of the world shifts from being one that is centered on themselves to being one that is more outwardly focused. In tandem with this, they need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude as a core value. If nothing else, it will make it possible for them to have a more optimistic perspective on life.
Now is the time to begin laying the groundwork that gratitude as action requires in order to become a reality. Children’s preschool years are an ideal time to instruct them in the art of gratitude. This can be accomplished by soliciting their assistance in writing thank-you notes for the gifts they received for their birthdays or by prompting them to consider the value of their relationships with their family and friends.
- Considering others
In tandem with shifting away from an ego-centered perspective and toward one in which the child is a valued member of a family and wider community, developing the ability to consider the perspectives of others is essential.
Children under the age of five often lack the ability to control their impulses, but by that age, they should be able, at least to some degree, to pause and consider how their actions will affect both themselves and those around them. Even if they are having difficulty with this stage as an advanced action, they should still be able to reflect on how an action will affect other people.
An honest conversation is key to successfully developing this value. Discuss the possible causes of someone else’s feelings of sadness, hurt, anger, or confusion. What could have possibly triggered these emotions in the other person, and why did they feel this way? What emotions would the child be experiencing if they were put in the same position?
You can take this a step further by having your child help you figure out what can be done to make the feelings of another person better and then letting them have a say in the decision-making process. For instance, if Granny is sick, what can they do to make her feel better and speed up the recovery process?
- Learning to forgive
It may be simple for children who are naturally inclined to seek redress for wrongs done to them to harbour resentment. However, the only person who will suffer consequences from this is the child. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting what happened or acting as though it did not hurt; this is a skill that must be learned.
This is especially true when we encourage children to say “that’s okay” after an apology without allowing them to acknowledge the genuine pain that they are experiencing. It may be helpful to let the child know that it is understandable that they feel the way that they do, but that this does not detract from the importance of accepting the apology offered by the other party.
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