A lot of parents find it to be a bit premature to instill certain thoughts, ideas, and values in younger children. However, is it time that we reconsider that notion?
Many experts and parents alike believe that children are more than capable of understanding and grasping a myriad of important life lessons and values by as early as five-years-old. Recently, Parents.com shared which of these 5 values are most important for your younger children to learn in their formative years.
Check out which virtues and values you should be teaching and bestowing upon your children:
Honesty is one of the most foundational values of all. It’s important that kids begin to understand the importance of honesty ad telling the truth at an early age. One of the easiest ways for parents to teach their kids the value of honesty, is to be as truthful and honest as possible. In other words, parents, that means you have to lead by example. Your children are very impressionable, so when they see you being honest and truthful with another adult, it will encourage them to do the same with their peers.
Along with the idea of leading by example, parents find success teaching honesty to their kids when they don’t overreact to their children’s fibs. Instead of raising your voice or punishing your kids when you can obviously tell they’re lying, try finding a way to help them express the truth without feeling guilty or victimized.
Your kids have a basic understanding of right or wrong long before the age of five, but what they don’t have a true understanding of is justice. Kids need to understand that when something is wrong, justice will help rectify and fix that situation. More importantly, it will help them to understand that when they do something that merits punishment, they must receive their punishment with full understanding for what they’ve done wrong.
Furthermore, parents can work to encourage their kids to seek justice for the acts perpetrated against them. If another kid is bullied on the playground, help your child use justice to properly seek restitution for the actions committed against them in a proper, fair, and just fashion.
Which values should your children know and understand by their fifth birthday? Find out more here!
Determination may be the easiest value to teach to a young child. Most parents find that teaching determination comes easiest by simply refraining from overly praising their children, and from nixing congratulations on tasks that their kids are supposed to be doing. In other words, if your kids brush their teeth three times in a day–does that merit celebration? No. It’s something that you probably encourage them to do each and every day.
Kids who are determined are ones whose parents offer them honest feedback and offer constructive criticism (in a light and delicate manner). Help your children develop determination by encouraging them to do things that don’t come easily-and to praise them for their initiative. If they want to try something that’s a bit difficult for them, by all means, let them do it. Just don’t let them throw in the towel when things get a little tricky.
A lot of parents tend to think that learning the value of consideration is a little challenging for children. Quite the opposite is true. If you are able to empathize with your child and use lessons that are easy to understand for them, they’ll easily catch on to the idea of consideration. And, if you really think about it, it’s not so farfetched.
Children aren’t numb to emotions, which means they’e more than capable of picking up and predicting the emotions of others around them. If your child is able to see that words or actions can work to make someone feel better, they’re already learning the value of consideration. Let them see that being kind, or virtuous to others can aid in making others feel better and they’ll be on the right track to displaying sincere acts of consideration towards others.
Just because your child is able to express their love for you, your partner, their siblings, or others doesn’t guarantee that your kid knows the importance of this value. Often parents think their kids truly understand this virtue simply because kids are pretty affectionate and willing to show their love. However, if parents want their kids to display this value for years to come (long after age five), then they should always work to reciprocate generous acts of love to their kids and to others.
Once again, parents should lead by example. In this case, that mens letting your kids see you display your love and affection for those closest to you. Be physically affectionate towards your spouse and children. Talk about how much you love your kids, and even verbally express your love and adoration for your parents.
As mentioned before, kids are very impressionable. So, if your little one sees you show your love, and hears your verbally express you love, they’ll be more inclined to do the same.