Tuesday, April 17, 2012

5 Ways for Parents to Teach Kids About Positive Values, Personal Integrity & Social Responsibility


Images in this post provided by Rachel Albert

With the prevalence of everything from cyber bullies to white collar crime these days --  it's never been more important for parents to walk the talk. This is no more true than when it comes to empowering our children to make the right decisions and to act appropriately in the day-to-day situations with which they are confronted.

A mother of four, Rachel Albert is also an author
This post, inspired by the thoughts of Rachel Albert, author of the young adult novel Quest to Telos, offers the key essentials to instilling personal integrity and social responsibility in today's youth.
  • Never lie in front of your kids. Most of us have spoken or acted falsely in front of our children or encouraged them to lie. For example, misstating a child’s age to save money on tickets or doing your child's school project or homework and then suggesting the student present it as his own work. These white lies don't gain much in the short run, do they? Worse, they cause long-term damage because they are setting standards for kids to emulate.
  • Give your kids a reason why. Mark Twain once said the two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you figure out why. If you fail to tell your kids why they are here, you've missed the opportunity to help them figure out what motivates them and gets them excited. This is the most important key to getting kids’ cooperation and empowering them at the grassroots level to get more involved in their local communities and ultimately make the world a better place.
  • Don’t criticize your children. Criticism is generally destructive, yet most parents criticize their kids anyway. In fact, when we focus on what they aren’t, they believe they can’t. In effect we are poisoning our own offspring. The result is angry children who express internalized pain by bullying others. It’s better instead to tell them how you feel rather than what you think of them. Something along the lines of, “I feel frustrated that you didn’t listen to me,” is likely to be better received.
  • Don’t speak badly about other people. This is probably one of the hardest things to do, considering we’re a generation that thrives on celebrity gossip. Speaking badly about others teaches kids to look for what they view as the negative in others and to take joy in sharing information that can actually hurt another person.
  • Model charity. Actions -- whether donating financially or by giving of your time -- speaks louder than words. When you make sure your children see the kindness and generosity you extend to others, they will learn empathy through osmosis.Besides, can you think of a better way to teach altruism than by bringing your child along when you volunteer at the local food pantry for the poor?
Clearly many of our society's ethics and social problems stem from the serious lack of personal integrity and absence of social responsibility in the world today. But parents can potentially change all that.

Albert says, "Each child is hungry to form his or her identity and make their mark on the world. As parents it is our duty to start at home by providing them with the tools they need to always do the right thing."

Rochel Albert lives in Miami and is a mother of four. Her book Quest to Telos published in March 2012 is a young adult novel where fantasy meets reality and even world peace is possible. It's available on Amazon $13.99/softcover and $4.99/e-book or Kindle.

What ways are you transmitting positive values to your child to help him or her know right from wrong? Feel free to share your thoughts as a comment below.

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  1. Love this. I couldn't agree more about walking the talk. I really try as much as possible to instill empathy in my children so they will feel for others and hopefully be socially responsible.

    1. Jessica, Thx so much for your comment. Modeling for your children is indeed vital to growing them into adults one day that will teach THEIR kids to be socially responsible too!