Episode 019: How do we pass our values onto our kids?
No matter how hard we try to censor and filter things out for them, kids are like sponges, picking up on everything we say and do even if they don't fully understand the meaning of the information they've absorbed. It's part of our job to help them make sense of that information. In my view, the best times to impart our values is when we capitalise on so called teachable moments. It is in the act of living life that they see our values play out organically. It's all well and good to give them a didactic lecture on the merits and demerits of virtue ethics but you'll put them to sleep. Kids will learn more from watching you and seeing how you handle conflict and problems in the heat of a moment. Make the effort to ask them questions about their thoughts and feelings about how they saw a particular situation. Ask them if they thought you ought to have acted differently. Ask them if they would have acted similarly given similar circumstances. Obviously you'll need to adjust such discussion to their age and stage, but the principle remains the same. Use their answers to structure your conversation about whatever values you would like to teach them. You could also use the stories they read in books, or watch on TV to talk about values. I encourage you to do your best to identify and label the values you see being played out; e.g.: "gee wasn't that fox kind to treat those chickens like that" etc..."it's great if everyone learned to give more than they got; then everyone would be better off" etc... Imparting your values early is critical. Believe it or not, as they get older, even though their friends will have some influence on them, they'll filter what their friends say and do through the lens of the value you've already instilled! It's well worth the investment. .... Empathic Connection Resource (FREE) www.huddlewisdom.com/jedimind