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Teaching the Right Values to Tots

by Joe Lawrence | September 8th, 2009 | Infants/Toddlers, Teen Perspective

inspire tomorrowAs parents we teach our children values on which to base their lives. Basically, we are programming their minds to operate in the real world. Are we simply reteaching the values taught to us by our parents or ones that we adopted throughout the years?

In my book, Inspire Tomorrow, I talk about how we are just like those who are closest to us. We act similarly to those we spend the most time with. Kids whose parents like a particular sports team, often root for the same ones. Children of smokers are more likely to smoke. Our religious and political views are often passed down also.

This creates a huge burden of responsibility to us. In LynnMarie Earl’s article, When We’re Mistaught, she explains, “The way people learn to communicate is by watching how it is modeled. If your family is full of yellers, you’ll learn that yelling is an acceptable, even appropriate, means of communication…But what happens in the business world, or in adult relationships, when our means of communication isn’t acceptable, or doesn’t work?”

Each of us is a Mini-Me of our parents and family. For me, I have re-evaluated much of my upbringing. My parents raised me well, but after much soul searching I have discovered I have some differing opinions. For example, I was raised as a Democrat. After studying many of their party-line views, I have converted to Republican. Just as our parents wanted the best for us, so do we for our children.

I know that I am going to infuse my thoughts and views into them, there is no way around it. My opinions will be absorbed into their minds like a sponge. Reflecting on this, I have decided to make my number one goal to teach them to challenge the thoughts of me and the world. Of course, I am not trying to spark an even greater rebellion than what is certain to come, but I want to teach them to look at all the sides of the issue and make an educated decision.

Naturally, the sports team will stay the same…go Steelers!

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