What are some positive values you want to cultivate in your children?

In a poll conducted on The New Age Parents’ Facebook fans page earlier this year, parents were asked to name the top three values they would like their child to have. The results showed that honesty/integrity was the top value parents want their child to have, followed by respect and kindness. Interestingly, in a special report issue from The Straits Times (Refer to “Values We Value”, March 3, 2012), honesty and kindness are also a repeated priority.

developing moral values in children

How can you help your child to learn these values? Where can you begin? The values and beliefs you hold close, where did you learn them from?

A good illustration is that of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s daughter, Lee Wei Ling, who often recall fondly and described how Mrs Lee has always demonstrated through her daily life to her and her sibling’s values such as frugality and humility, which are still reflected in all their lifestyles.

So, the key solution is this: Parents + Role Modeling = Positive Values

If you want your child to grow up with positive values that will shape their character for their future, intentional effort on your part is required to be good role models for their children. Here are three small “start-stop-do” tips:

#1 Start young and early
The preschool years are crucial for you to inculcate values in your child. Values are what we carry with us in future. Most importantly, this is the period where children learn by observing and intimating adults who they are attached with. Start now, by being intentional in displaying the positive dispositions you want to have cultivated in your children!

#2 Stop negative “normalized behavior”
Research has largely shown that if a child sees his father hit his mother, he will grow up thinking that this is a normal behavior. Then, when he grows up to be a father, the cycle of violence is perpetuated. Psychologists call this “normalized behavior”. Are there any negative behavior that has been “normalized” at your home? It is time to stop them.

#3 Do what you want to see
If you are teaching about respect, be polite to the people you interact with. If you are teaching about compassion, give up the seat to those who need the seat more than you do. If you are teaching about being honest, return a lost and found item.

This article is contributed by Deborah Lam, Melisa Neo, Wah Chia Ling & Yolanda Lai

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