Our values are the principles that drive our behaviour. They influence the way we work with each other and how we engage with the community. They are the standards we hold ourselves up against and what we consider important. Values may be guided by our religious beliefs, supported by the Church, and stem from our innate sense of what is right.
Our values define who we are and for this reason, it is incredibly important that we instil good values and a strong moral compass in our children.
Encouraging your son to develop good values and morals will set him up for life. It will pave the way for him to become a responsible adult, while potentially protecting him from negative social influences.
Below are 8 hints to help you to encourage your son to develop good values:
1. Model good values
The most influential way to teach good values is to model the appropriate behaviour. Children learn from seeing how we communicate with, and treat others. If you want your son to be honest, kind and compassionate, then be those things consistently. Enlist support by inviting mentors into his life - these should be people with whom you share the same values.
2. Spend time with your son
With an abundance of outside influences shaping our children’s’ perspectives on the world, more than ever before, we need to spend time with them. Make this time count by doing things they enjoy. Spend time on the cricket pitch, at the playground, building Lego or cooking. Show your son how to have good honest fun, and while doing so, teach him the values that will have a positive impact on his life.
3. Talk, talk and talk some more
Encourage your son to talk. Talk about his day, his experiences, the things he loves and the things that upset him. Model this behaviour at the dinner table, sharing your experiences and why they were good, bad or otherwise. Talk about what is right and wrong, how to resolve conflicts and what constitutes good values. By having an open dialogue about values, it will become a normal family activity to debate and discuss the good and bad aspects of life.
4. Recognise when you are wrong
We all know that everyone makes mistakes, the important thing is that we own our mistakes and learn from them. When you have acted inappropriately, acknowledge your mistake and apologise. This will show your son that you value and respect his thoughts and feelings. It will also show him that it is normal to make mistakes, and not hard to recover if you are willing to accept and learn from them.
5 Hold him accountable
If (and when) your son gets into trouble, hold him accountable. Use the situation as an opportunity to teach him about the values that are important to you. Encourage your son to take responsibility, address the situation and apologise for his behaviour. Fixing the problem for him, will not do your son any favours – he needs to learn that the choices he makes have consequences, both good and bad.
6. Ensure he is committed
Teach you son the importance of commitment and staying true to his word. If he joins the football team, he should stay committed to that team for the season. By teaching him to follow through with his commitments, you will encourage him to develop perseverance and responsibility.
7. Moderate outside influences
Outside influences, including the internet, television, video games, movies and music, shape our children’s perspectives more than ever before. Ensure that you are moderating your son’s exposure to disrespectful and negative influences.
8. Recognise good behaviour
Positive reinforcement is a fantastic way of encouraging good behaviour. When your son exhibits good values, acknowledge them. Tell him you are proud and tell him why – be specific and sincere.
For more than a century, Trinity has guided boys to grow in mind, body and spirit. We understand the importance of encouraging your son to develop good values and morals and we do so in the context of a supportive Christian environment. Parents in partnership with Trinity, share in the development of Biblical values through our Family and Chapel Services which support Christian Studies classes.
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