Ways to Teach Values (page 2)
You want your kids to be grateful, but they don’t consistently thank others when the kindness is warranted. Experts name at least five ways to teach kids values.
What You Need To Know
Often, adults think of character building as going through difficult circumstances and coming out stronger. But teaching kids about developing good character traits can be done in less painful and more supportive ways, especially during difficult times like the adjustment to middle school. Beyond lectures, kids learn from witnessing, examining, and problem solving.
How You Can Help
Many experts name five to six methods for teaching kids about values. A couple examples are below.
- Role Models. Often parents point to an admirable person in the media or community and assign character traits that they want their children to emulate. The benefit is that kids realize that the values are real and not just ideals. The disadvantage is that no one is perfect and often the hero falls off the pedestal. Be precise about the attribution of qualities and discuss flaws.
- Examining Actions. By mapping the steps in a decision process and following up with the consequences of the action, kids learn to be analytic. They can speculate about alternative actions and the results of those choices. Kids can analyze characters from stories, media events, community actions, and most importantly, their own behavior.
- Moral Reasoning. When kids address “no win” situations and must make decisions, they learn to weigh circumstances and effects. This approach offers opportunities for discussion and collaboration. Many social studies classes use scenarios from history and ask kids to allocate resources, assign manpower, and choose courses before they discover what the real people did. You can use incidents from the news, school, or your work.
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