Moral values for kids are essential principles that children must learn from early childhood. They are like guidelines that assist a person in choosing between right from wrong or good from bad. Understanding these values is crucial for making honest, credible, and fair decisions in everyday life.
Following moral ideals can help children develop a likable character and a pleasant personality. You, as a parent, and your family, play an important in guiding, supporting, and hand-holding your children in the path of developing moral values.
Read on to learn more about the importance of instilling moral principles in children and how you can imbibe them in your child.
Importance Of Moral Values In Children
Imbibing moral values in a child will have the following positive effects.
- Helps build a positive character with traits such as compassion, respect, kindness, and humility.
- Makes the child distinguish between right and wrong or good and bad. It can eventually promote rational thinking and unbiased judgment.
- Provides a perspective that shapes attitudes and beliefs towards various aspects of life.
- Boosts their self-confidence and helps them stay positive even in difficult situations.
- Allows children to channelize their energies in the right direction.
- Works as a moral compass that helps them stay off the negative influence of peers, social media, or society in general, as they grow into teens or adults.
- Aids in setting high standards of social living that help develop society at large.
From early childhood to adulthood, moral development undergoes continuous evolution through the family’s support and guidance.
Ways To Inculcate Moral Values In Children
Instilling moral values in your child is all about developing positive character traits. Here is how you can support them.
- Be their role model: Preaching a child is of no use unless you practice what you preach. Children learn better by observing their environment. Set a good example by following virtues, such as honesty, humility, responsibility, and compassion.
- Share moral experiences: Moral bedtime stories on topics such as honesty, justice, being helpful, etc., are good, but sharing positive real-life experiences is even better. Share such incidents from your life experiences to acquaint your child with those morals.
- Help them practice their learning: Let children put these values into practical use. For example, show them ways to be humble by talking politely to others, helping someone needy, or avoiding bragging about their good deeds, etc.
- Acknowledge good behavior: Reward good behavior appropriately. This positive reinforcement need not necessarily be a gift. You can discuss your child’s positive behavior with your family and share what your child did and its impact. When a family praises a child, it boosts their confidence and self-esteem.
- Communicate clearly and effectively: Communicate moral values in a manner that is easy for a child to interpret. Simplify it into a language that a child can easily understand. You can use examples from the child’s life and teach them the moral values behind it and their possible impact.
- Intelligent use of media: Media and its impact on children and teens can be positive or negative. Navigating your child’s exposure to the media could help the child derive useful moral learnings. For example, you can watch a movie with your child or read an article on the internet that reflects high moral standards and positive effects. You can try this with older children.
So, what are those essential moral values that children should learn?
15 Moral Values For Children
Here is a list of moral values that parents should try to instill in their children.
Gratitude is the readiness to show appreciation and thankfulness for what you have. It begins with contentment. Cultivate contentment and gratitude in your child by teaching them to be thankful for what they have in life. Teach them to never take anyone or anything for granted.
Children read in books that “honesty is the best policy.” But to learn its true meaning, they need to practice it continuously. A child can nurture honesty by being truthful towards their parents, teachers, and others around them. Acquaint the child to the fact that it is always best to accept a mistake with honesty instead of lying to cover it up. Show them how they can begin with small steps, such as being honest with their teacher and classmates.
Sharing is caring. Thus, a child must know the importance of sharing with those in need of them. Sharing is an act that should bud out of selflessness. You can teach your child to share their belongings/resources with others who might need those things desperately. Encourage the child to share their toys with their siblings and cousins or donate some books, food, and clothes to the less privileged children.
Empathy is considered as the capacity to which an individual can understand another person’s problems, issues, and concerns. It is like putting yourself into someone else’s shoes. To raise an empathetic child, you need to be empathetic to them first. Listen to their concerns, issues, and problems, and try to help them. Come up with mutually agreed solutions.
Compassion is the feeling of love and care that you feel towards others. It is a step ahead of empathy since you not only feel the other person’s feelings but also strive to help them with their problems. The development of this positive emotion will help your child develop positive relationships with others.
Cooperation is an act of extending help to others to attain a goal that is often mutual. Collaboration at home is the first step towards developing a sense of cooperation. Doing household chores together and listening to each other’s problems are some acts of cooperation that a family should follow. Such actions help a growing child think as “we” rather than “me.”
Young children should learn to respect every individual irrespective of age, caste, creed, religion, ethnicity, beliefs, and difference of perspective. It is a crucial step to develop healthy social and professional relations when a child grows up. Talking politely to the school bus driver or house help is an example that you can set for your child.
Equality is an integral part of several moral values, such as justice. Treating all individuals equal in terms of rights, opportunities, and status is essential for eradicating thoughts of supremacy. You can set the right examples by allowing your child to play with other children, irrespective of their social differences.
Justice equips a child to stand against unfair and unjust behaviors and attitudes. It helps them decide between right and wrong and then choose the right path. Set examples of justice right at home. For instance, set the same lights out time for the child and their sibling with no exceptions. You could politely explain why elders get extra time to stay awake since they have to wind up all the household chores.
A willingness to do difficult things in difficult situations is called courage. This ethical practice prepares an individual to do what is right. The next time your child shows the courage to complain about a classmate who was bullying a new student, praise them for their courage. Tell them that it is a proud moment for you to know that they are courageous.
It is the ability to accept the difference of perspective with another person. It widens the child’s perspective and helps see a situation in a relatively different way. For instance, if a child and their sibling disagree on some issue, ask them to calmly listen to each other’s opinions without prejudice. Teach them to accept the other person’s perspective and arrive at the best solution through discussion.
It plays a vital role in making your child a kind and socially responsible person. A generous child will be ready to give his/her time and help others liberally and irrespective of any prerequisites. Let your child extend their hand of help to others who need it. Whatever little they can do, let them do.
The best way to make your child responsible is to set an example yourself. A few acts of responsibility that you can adopt at home are washing your dishes, filling empty water bottles, keeping shoes at designated places, spending time with family, and following a routine. You can help them learn better by assigning them responsibilities and showering praise when they complete all the assigned tasks.
Perseverance is an act of putting persistent efforts to achieve a goal or accomplishment. Teaching perseverance is about acquainting your child to a never-say-die attitude. Inculcate it in daily life. For instance, if the child gets poor grades, then instead of berating them, motivate them to keep working until they attain the best grades. Shower words of motivation, whenever possible, to teach the child to be perseverant.
Self-control plays a significant role in helping children control their thoughts, words, actions, and emotions. Such children do not act impulsively and avoid reacting in rage. Cultivate self-control by promoting the value of patience and self-regulation. For example, the next time you feel angry or impatient about an incident, control your emotions, and act calmly. It will set the right example of self-control to your child.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What will happen if kids don’t follow moral values?
Children facing moral poverty cannot feel others’ pain when someone is in pain or participate in someone’s happiness. The lack of empathy and values can cause them to commit crimes (1). According to the US Department of Justice, children’s lack of moral values can lead to juvenile crimes and violence.
2. How do moral values affect a child’s behavior?
Moral values can help develop positive character traits and behavior. Children with moral values can be self-conscious about their behavior and try to self-reinforce positive behaviors that are more acceptable to society. They tend to be honest and take responsibility for their actions. They tend to avoid immoral behaviors that are not acceptable by parents, school authorities, or society (2).
These are some of the fundamental moral values for kids that help them build an optimistic personality. These values help constitute strong ideas, beliefs, and right attitudes to evolve into morally strong and undeterred individuals. You may start teaching early to pave the right path for your child. Also, invest your time and effort to promote your child’s moral development. Altogether, moral values represent a human’s emotional attributes and experiences while guiding us in the right direction and motivating us to follow the right path.
- It is vital for kids to learn moral values.
- Gratitude, honesty, sharing, respect, cooperation, and compassion are some of the most important moral values that a child should have.
- Sharing moral experiences, communicating, and acknowledging good behavior may help inculcate moral values in children.
- Lack of Moral Guidance Causes Juvenile Crime and Violence (From Juvenile Crime: Opposing Viewpoints P 107-117 1997 A E Sadler ed — See NCJ-167319).
- Moral Development In Children.
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Dr. Wayne Hough(MBChB, MMed, FC Paeds)
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