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Establishing Your Values

Generally, you are going to want your child to have the values you find important, the ones that have worked for you throughout your life. Have you ever taken a good look at what they are? Identifying the values you find important is the first step in teaching your values to your children. Take some time to list values that are most important to you. Brainstorm as many as you can think of and write them down as they come to you. The order doesn't matter. Then after you've run out of ideas, go back and prioritize the list from most to least important. Here are a few to start with:

  • Cleanliness—A habit of keeping clean.
  • Compassion—Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.
  • Courage—The state of mind that enables one to face danger or fear with confidence.
  • Friendliness—A state of being likeable to another person, enjoyment in their company.
  • Honesty—The quality or state of being truthful.
  • Integrity—Moral soundness; honesty; freedom from corrupting influence.
  • Kindness—The quality of being warm-hearted, considerate, humane, and sympathetic.
  • Perseverance—Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action or a purpose.
  • Promptness—Being on time, punctual.
  • Responsibility—The state, quality, or fact of being accountable.

When you have a handle on which values you find most important for yourself, go back and make another list of the values you want your child to have. List the reasons you want your child to have each value, and how you feel he will benefit. Once you have clearly defined what you want your child to learn from you, it will be easier to find a course of action in your day-to-day life.

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From The Everything Parent's Guide to Raising a Successful Child Copyright © 2004, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

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