Helping children to develop responsibility, honesty and respect is usually considered just as important as teaching reading or comprehension skills. There are lots of great values to teach your child, which can help them to avoid peer pressure or the temptation to conform to consumer culture’s demands. It is important to consider which values you want to teach your child and determine what the best ways are to instill these values in your child.

One of the best ways to teach values to your children is to lead by example. If you want your child to grow up to be respectful, compassionate and honest, you need to strive for these qualities within yourself. Your lessons can quickly be forgotten if your children watch you contradict what you try to teach.

9 Values to Teach Your Child

1. Honesty

As children grow, influences such as friends or the media can teach them to lie. It is important to counteract this by reinforcing the value of honesty. Children will often fear being yelled at, so let them know you will always take the time to listen to them. Applaud their courage for telling you the truth, but follow through with any punishments you have stated. If you go back on your word this is setting an example of dishonesty which can be counteractive.

2. Courtesy and Respect

Children learn respect at home based on how parents and others in their lives treat each other. Your child will strive to model your behavior, so if you are courteous, using “please,” “you’re welcome,” “thank you” and similar phrases, your child will follow suit. It is also important to teach your child how to respect others’ opinions and property so that he can create healthy relationships.

3. Gratitude

It can be all too easy to take others for granted and forget to show others that they are appreciated. Teaching your child to be thankful each day, even for the little things like a smile or good weather. Remind him that life is a blessing and not everyone has the benefits he has, such as food, shelter, friends, nice clothing, etc. Helping your child to understand this will make him more appreciative for what he has.

4. Generosity

It is easy to get caught up in what you want, and this is particularly true for children. Teaching the importance of sharing at home can help your child learn to interact with others when it comes time for school. Consider taking on a charitable cause like donating clothing or food, which can help to teach children the importance of being generous.

5. Forgiveness and Compassion

Those that are not able to forgive can grow up to be bitter. Whether or not it is intentional, people can act badly from time to time and it is important to forgive these individuals and show them compassion rather than holding a grudge that will only hurt you. You want your children to be happy, not bitter and resentful. Teaching your child to forgive and move past things can make it easier to fuel a healthier mindset.

6. Perseverance

Humans are not perfect and it often takes a few tries before we can manage a task successfully. The lesson of persistence starts when kids are young, learning to feed themselves, walk or speak. Children at this age are likely to keep trying, but as they get older they will start to compare themselves with others, which can bring feelings of inadequacy. As a parent let your child know that you are always proud of him, and when he feels discouraged try to guide him to the right solution without simply solving a problem for him. If your child learns to be persistent at a young age, then as he gets older he will always have the urge to try his best.

7. Humility

Humility is often overlooked but this is an essential quality to have. This does not necessarily mean lacking pride for your accomplishments but refers to having the courage to apologize when you have done something wrong. A good parent will stress the importance of a sincere apology.

8. Responsibility

Responsible children grow into responsible adults. It is important to teach children to take responsibility for both the good and bad actions they do. This helps to prevent your children from growing into whiny individuals who are always trying to blame others for things they have done wrong.

9. Love

Parents believe that children are naturally loving and affectionate, but in order for this to last you will need to reciprocate the emotion. Demonstrate love and affection for others in front of your child and be generous with showing love and affection toward your child as well. Surprise your child with loving gestures like slipping a note into their book bag or performing thoughtful gestures at unexpected moments.

To learn how to teach good values to your child, watch the video below: