The month of December is a festive month in every calendar, whatever may be your race, faith, religion, spiritual belief and nationality and wherever you are in the world, this month gives us the opportunity to step back and reflect.
As a parent and chief mentor at Grandma & Grandpa’s, I often wonder, what is the best way to impart a good value system in our children? Good Values such as respect, kindness, generosity, compassion, dependability and other such values. I also wonder if there is a role for faith and religion in imparting that value system.
I strongly believe that imparting such values to our children will protect them from potentially negative societal influences in the future. It goes a long way to lay the foundation for them to be good, responsible citizens of the world. I feel it is our responsibility as parents and mentors to instill these solid moral values in our children from when they are very young.
It is easier said than done isn’t it? There is no quick fix, no magic wand to do this. Instilling these values in children takes time – a scarce commodity for many parents these days. This is where their learning environment and support system inside and outside the home makes a big difference.
“Children learn by observing than by being told what to do” and therefore, the best way to teach morals and values is to be their role model. so walk the talk. For example, if we want them to be honest, we have to set an example and lead by example by being honest with them. Children are inquisitive by nature and so as they develop their personalities, young children – from as little as when they are 5 – start to ask some difficult and challenging questions. It is easy to brush them aside, or divert their attention to something else. But answering those questions honestly and patiently with stories, songs and examples from faith & religious texts helps a lot in putting these abstract and complex concepts in perspective. As the children grow older, their ability to grasp these abstract concepts grows and they observe and validate how we – parents and adults- are behaving when it comes to implementing those moral values in our daily lives. They learn to do what we do.
Here are some further steps for us parents and mentors to improve our skills and ways in this area of mentoring.
There are a lot of treasures in our roots. This festive season is a great month to spend time with family and live those values.