With the recent news on violence surrounding young teenagers everywhere, a parent can’t help but cringe and wonder what kind of society our kids are growing up in? In my opinion, it is a society filled with hatred, passion and self-centeredness. Probably the incidence of violence is isolated in each community but you can easily see the common factor – children are growing with out the proper values in their life.
I want to share an email I got a few weeks ago… This is a good parenting tip for us who want our kids to grow up with proper values. We may have good intentions with setting rules in our homes but we must make sure that the rules are explained and the value behind each rule is clear to our children.
As children get older, parents gradually release control of decision-making and allow their kids greater freedom to make choices for themselves. Too much freedom too early can be disastrous but too much control and then instant freedom can be dangerous as well.
The key to making good decisions has a lot to do with values, but children don’t get to hear about values as often. Children hear rules. If, when your kids are growing up, you talk about the values behind the rules then when they have the freedom to make their own decisions, they’ll be able to do so with wisdom.
Children outgrow rules, but they don’t outgrow values. When kids are young you may not allow them to go down the street without an adult. When they get a little older they’ll have to check in and be home at a certain time. Those are rules but they come out of very important values of safety and accountability. When a college student is invited to stay out late with her friends, those values from childhood will still ring true, and will help guide her to wise decisions.
Prepare now for your child’s future decision-making. What are the values behind the rules you’ve created? Share those values regularly as opportunities to teach your kids. Your children will carry the values on for the rest of their lives.
This parenting tip comes from the book Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.