In order to cope with our doubts and misgivings, we must acknowledge a set of essential principles to be passed on to our children. These are important values for dealing with life challenges that will help them become better adults tomorrow.
Parents - with words, gestures and emotions that define our behaviour - are a model for them. Our role is to pave the way and provide instructions.
Kids develop first of all through their senses. They listen, understand, absorb everything, even what we unconsciously convey to them.
Values are the essence of a good education. Children who do not apply a set of principles to their actions will sooner or later lose confidence, with negative effects on their self-esteem.
What are therefore the most important values to convey to them?
Beyond personal choices more or less driven by religious or cultural factors, I believe that some values can be considered essential if we want to make our children happy men and women, and help them find their way and not get lost.
Kindness is a value that is learned, it is not inherited. From their very first years, children should learn to be kind to those around them, and our example can only help them in this.
Respect means empathy, acceptance of the other, and the ability to listen even when we do not share the choices or opinions of those around us. We should teach our kids to put themselves in other people’s shoes. Tell them that this is the key to making true friends, to live peacefully together.
It is important to teach generosity to our children, intended as being actively helpful to others. It is crucial that children learn to be generous from their very first years, for example sharing their toys with their peers. Little by little they will succeed in internalizing this essential value, owning it completely in their adult life.
Friendship is one of the most important values a child should acquire very early on. Learning to make friends, but above all to know how to take care of friends and to keep them through life.
Here our example makes the difference more than anything else: if we do not believe in friendship, if we are unable to trust or rely on those who hold out their hands to us, we can hardly convey this vital principle to our children.
Humility is one of the fundamental values in our children's education. Teaching them to be humble does not mean underestimating them or depriving them of security. Instilling them with the value of humility means helping them not to feel superior to others and accept their own limits by viewing them as an opportunity for self-improvement. A humble child will surely be happier, as he will learn how to appreciate the little things that really matter in life.
THE LOVE OF NATURE
It is very important that children learn to love and respect nature. The best way to make this happen is to plan trips to the countryside or to the seaside as often as we can, thus encouraging our children to experience first-hand flowers, trees, mountains, sea and rivers.
THE RESPECT FOR DIFFERENCE
We should encourage children to respect difference in all its incarnations. Difference of skin colour, culture, religion. But above all difference of opinions.
It is necessary that children understand from the very beginning that we are not all the same in the world, and that those who are different from us must be respected and understood.
In order to help our children deal with the first life obstacles, we should convey to them the value of perseverance, intended as constant effort. The strength of not giving up, the desire to learn in order to improve, the energy to seek solutions for any problems that they might experience over the years.
We should teach them that there are important things worth fighting for, in order to become more mature, responsible, and better adults.
It is natural to encourage children to be obedient and aware of the importance of this value. Obedience means knowing the rules and being able to accept them, without asking for anything in return.
It is essential that children are obedient both in school and at home in order to establish a peaceful coexistence. We must teach them to ask, listen, and control their behaviour in every situation.
Finally, one of the most important values to be passed on to our children is self-esteem. It is important to help them believe in themselves, in their abilities as individuals.
We must encourage them to make friends, to accept changes, but above all to be more autonomous, without fearing the world around them. An overprotected child will continue to feel “dependent” and insecure, unable to figure out how to deal with things alone. They will feel “lost”.
Let us teach them how to be courageous, gratifying and praising them for their little big successes!
Explaining to them that making mistakes is not always a bad thing, but also an opportunity to become better adults.
Priscilla Family Welcome
PHOTO Mario Pirozzi