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Values, how do they shape us?

February 10, 2017

Values​ ​are​ ​often​ ​described​ ​in​ ​two​ ​ways,​ ​the​ ​first​ ​being​ ​that​ ​a​ ​person​ ​may​ ​have​ ​a​ ​value of​ ​kindness​ ​or​ ​generosity​ ​which​ ​describes​ ​their​ ​nature.​ The​ ​second​ ​refers​ ​to​ ​a​ ​set​ ​of​ ​values​ ​that an​ ​individual​ ​would​ ​use​ ​to​ navigate​ ​in​ ​this​ ​world,​ ​based​ ​their​ ​own​ ​particular​ ​value system.​ Values are not chosen, they are inherent to each individual. Values are​ ​fundamental​, the are beliefs and convictions that support everything you do. 


​In​ ​our younger​ ​years,​ ​our​ ​parents​ ​and​ ​close​ ​family​ ​will​ ​become​ ​the​ ​strongest​ ​role​ ​models​ ​in​ ​shaping how​ ​we​ ​think​ ​and​ ​behave,​ ​and​ ​for​ ​the​ ​most​ ​part​ ​we​ ​will​ ​learn​ ​through their​ ​example. and develop​ ​a​ ​belief​ ​system. 


Building​ ​a​ ​value​ ​system 

The​ ​way​ ​children​ ​learn​ ​values​ ​is​ ​mostly​ ​by​ ​observing​ ​what​ ​you​ ​do,​ ​and​ ​drawing​ ​conclusions about​ ​what​ ​you​ ​think​ ​is​ ​important​ ​in​ ​life.​ ​Regardless​ ​of​ ​what​ ​you​ ​consciously​ ​teach​ ​them,​ ​your children​ ​will​ ​emerge​ ​from​ ​childhood​ ​with​ ​clear​ ​views​ ​on​ ​what​ ​their​ ​parents​ ​really​ ​value.


Parents​ ​are​ ​not​ ​the​ ​only​ ​source​ ​from​ ​which​ ​children​ ​learn​ ​values,​ ​peers​ ​will​ ​influence​ ​your​ ​them, especially​ ​as​ ​teenagers​ ​and​ ​it​ ​is​ ​healthy​ ​for​ ​young​ ​people​ ​to​ ​think​ ​for​ ​themselves​ ​and​ ​develop their​ ​own​ ​world-view.​ ​However,​ ​if​ ​they​ ​have good​ ​self-image​ ​and​ ​a​ ​warm​ ​home​ ​life,​ ​they​ ​are​ ​more​ ​likely​ ​to​ ​pick​ ​friends​ ​who​ ​are​ ​more​ ​in sync​ ​with​ ​those​ ​values. 


Your​ ​values​ ​define​ ​your​ ​​character​​ ​and​ ​they​ ​impact​ ​every​ ​aspect​ ​of​ ​your​ ​​life​ ​​including:

  • Your​ ​interactions​ ​with​ ​family,​ ​friends 

  • Your​ ​​decision-making​ ​​processes 

  • The​ ​direction​ ​you​ ​take​ ​in​ ​life. 

As​ ​a​ ​parent​ ​it​ ​is​ ​important​ ​to​ ​know​ ​what​ ​you​ ​value,​ ​why you​ ​value​ ​it​ ​and​ ​what​ ​significance​ ​it takes​ ​in​ ​your​ ​life,​ ​and​ ​then​ ​to​ ​identify​ ​how​ ​this​ ​resonates​ ​with​ ​your​ ​children.​ ​By​ ​being​ ​aware​ ​of this,​ ​you​ ​can​ ​also​ ​understand​ ​that​ ​your​ ​children​ ​will​ ​each​ ​have​ ​their​ ​own​ ​value​ ​system​ ​based​ ​on their​ ​own​ ​sense​ ​of​ ​priorities​ ​and​ ​experiences. 


Some​ ​pointers​ ​on​ ​developing​ ​a​ ​value​ ​system​ ​with​ ​your​ ​children​ ​: 


Be​ ​aware​ ​of​ ​what​ ​you’re​ ​modelling. 

It​ ​isn’t​ ​what​ ​you​ ​say,​ ​it’s​ ​what​ ​you​ ​do.​ If​ ​you​ ​talk​ ​about​ ​honesty​ ​but​ ​lie​ ​about​ ​their age​ ​to​ ​get​ ​a​ ​cheaper​ ​ticket​ ​to​ ​the​ ​movies,​  they​ ​learn​ ​that​ ​cheating​ ​is​ ​acceptable​ ​under​ ​certain​ ​circumstances. 


Help​ ​your​ ​child​ ​develop​ ​empathy. 

Empathy​ ​is​ ​the​ ​foundation​ ​of​ ​compassion,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​the​ ​foundation​ ​of​ ​values.​ ​The​ ​only​ ​way​ ​children​ ​can​ ​learn​ ​empathy​ ​is​ ​by​ ​being​ ​treated empathically,​ ​and​ ​by​ ​watching​ ​you​ ​respond​ ​to​ ​others​ ​with​ ​compassion​ ​and​ ​kindness.​ ​


Talk​ ​explicitly​ ​about​ ​your​ ​values​ ​and​ ​why​ ​they​ ​are​ ​important​ ​to​ ​you. 

What​ ​is integrity?​ ​Why​ ​is​ ​respectful​ ​


behavior​ ​important​? What​ ​do​ ​you​ ​think​ ​of​ ​the​ ​way​ ​the​ ​press​ ​is​ ​covering​ ​a​ ​particular​ ​issue?​ ​Helping​ ​children​ ​interpret the​ ​world​ ​is​ ​a​ ​crucial​ ​responsibility​ ​of​ ​parents. 


At The Character Company, we reinforce 5 core values that we believe are essential for all children to embrace, namely: Kindness, Honesty, Self-Discipline, Courage and Respect. 

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