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How Can We Better Teach Our Children Values

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“Don’t do as I do, do as I say"

During children’s first approximately six to eight years, they are open to parental input, however, as children grow older, peers, television, computers, video games, and other media will become more influential. As a parent, you will still be a significant influence, but it is much more challenging to effectively communicate good values among the cyclone of contemporary media messages. Children learn what they live, so if you live your values, your kids are likely to as well.

Most parents recognize the need for their children to have right values. But how do you teach them?

Raising children with values is very important. They are the foundation of all that children come to believe and who they become. Values act as the signposts in the direction that your children’s live ahead.

One of the most important things you can do is set a good example for your children. They learn from seeing how you treat them, by overhearing your interactions with others and observing what you do in different situations throughout the day. If you want your children to exhibit values like honesty, self-respect and compassion, then you need to show these qualities yourself.

Children are like sponges. They observe and soak up everything there is in their environment, mainly though sight and hearing. The majority of their words and behaviours stem from mimicking their parents or other adults around them. All the teaching can be undone if your children watch you behave in ways that contradict what you´ve said.

Six practical guidelines to teach values to your children

  • As parents, we should first think of what we really want our children to learn. Therefore, we should try to determine what values we really want to teach them. In order to help yourself, try making a list of your top ten priorities for your family.
  • Set rules around your values. For example, if having family time is important to you at diner, don´t allow interruptions such as phone calls for either you or your children.
  • Emphasize your actions with your words. Talk to your child how you feel after, for example helping an old lady cross the road. This will very likely encourage your children to help others whenever they can.
  • Look for teaching opportunities. Be on the lookout for those teaching moments, and be aware that you are your child´s best example. Almost every day something happens that can provide you with an opportunity to teach your kids about values. Use these incidents as conversation starters. For example, keep alert for stories from real life, books, and TV shows that illustrate a value that you think is important, and discuss it with your child. Communication is the key!
  • Teach your child to prioritize. For example, if your family is in a stressful situation and your seven year old is being inappropriately demanding, you may want to ask him what he thinks is more important right now. It is vital that you ask this question without instilling guilt or being demanding. The key is to make your child think about what is really more important at that instant.
  • It is also very important as parents, to ask ourselves: are my actions congruent with my talk? Am I sending a clear message? Are my actions congruent with my talk?


As a result, regardless of what you consciously teach them, your children will emerge from childhood with clear views on what their parents really value, and with a well-developed value system of their own.
Raising kids is one of the toughest and most fulfilling jobs in the world. As parents, it requires a lot of patience to teach children right from wrong, how to respect others, how to share and be fair, how to take responsibility. Nevertheless, parents, please be proactive, You can make a difference in the life of Your kids! 

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