“Appreciate children for exercising their values, they will in turn appreciate the worth of values.”
Every child comes with a unique set of values and virtues which need to be appreciated and nurtured. Make values their benchmark for success.
- Values are more often ‘caught’ by children rather than being ‘taught’ to them. When as adults you live values consistently, children absorb them. Honesty in simple acts like admitting to mistakes, paying taxes, paying a fine if you break traffic rules, and so on. Respect family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and domestic help. In your every action they are absorbing your values.
- Teach children to meditate every morning and study at least a small passage of spiritual content. This will keep them calm and make them emotionally strong. They will take the right decisions and stick to their principles.
- Prioritise values over academic and other achievements. If children admit to have bunked classes to go for a movie with friends, first appreciate them for being honest, and then tell them what they did was not right.
- Help children create their own value compass. Encourage them to choose any one value and then use it with everyone, everywhere and every time for week. Ask them to notice how it feels using a value and what benefit it brings.
Appreciate children – The Story
The father used to take his son out on his walks in the evenings post his return from work. They called it the buddy time. He walked at a reasonable pace, sometimes with his hands behind his back, clasped. Over time, he found that his son also did the same. He also had a habit of snapping his head sideways to take out hair that had come over his eyes. To his amazement, he found his son doing exactly that within a few days of going out.
At the same time, he kept on drilling his son with some sermons about manners and values, but the son wasn’t getting them. He wondered why. He asked his wife one day. She simply replied that you should be showing him those manners and values by actually doing it. He will then get it and like your mannerisms that he is acquiring, he will get them too.
That was the end of his sermonising and teaching. That day on he simply did the right thing in front of his son. Over time, the son picked up all the good values. Patience, determination, caring for others, humility, passion for things he did, peacefulness and integrity, he picked up everything.
Values are ‘caught’ by children and not taught
As adults, you live your values. You work with them to bring about success in your life. These are seen by children and they absorb. Honesty in simple things, respect to everyone around you and general peacefulness in the face of problems are picked up by them just like that.
Your inner calm is their inner calm.
Do your meditation and your spiritual studies. Someday, they will pick that up and use that to be emotionally stronger. They will have better principles and make better decisions.
Prioritise values over academic and other achievements.
Honesty is a big play here. You have to show your own integrity and honesty at large for your child to imbibe that and make values their biggest trait. Appreciate what they are before appreciating what they do.
They build their own values and moral compass, but you have to remind yourself that you can contribute in the biggest way by your subtle encouragement and by doing it rather than just telling it.
The son is today the head of a huge internet company and his annual meets with his employees is routinely applauded for its anecdotes on values!
Let’s revise our affirmations to appreciate children
I am a wise being.
I think, speak, behave, radiating my values.
I talk to children about values.
Situations may be a challenge.
People may not be right.
I use my values.
I advise children to do the same.
I live a life free of temptations and peer pressure.
I motivate children to be the same.
I appreciate their values.
Each time they achieve, I first appreciate the value which the used and then the achievement.