In this day and age it seems people have forgotten old fashioned things such as manners, ethics and just doing the right thing! Good, old fashioned values have been thrown out the window along with black and white TV and shoe polish!
Where do YOU stand on this matter? Are you a parent who is too busy to hand down your principles to your children? Give them the time and teach them manners. Those manners will become a lifelong habit if learned at a young age. Explain to them about principles and how they can be used as a guide in their lives.
Share your experiences with them about how your principles have come to the fore. Ask them how they would handle certain situations. For example, what would they do if they were encouraged to bully another person? Would they follow like a sheep or would they stand up for the person and stop the bully in his/her tracks?
“Treat someone how you would like to be treated” is a good old fashioned saying, which parents of old always would pass down, but it is still relevant today.
Some children seem to be a little more self-centred today, with not much thought of others. Encourage a sense of looking out for your neighbour and helping out when needed. Suggest selfless acts with no reward. It is impossible to live in society without an attitude of caring for others.
Being responsible for one’s actions is a good one to teach. Teach your family the idea of consequences. For example, if you have found out your child has stolen something from a shop, take him or her back to the shop to return the article and to apologise. It will be a lifelong lesson which will discourage further stealing. Consequence is a great learning tool!
Being aware of other’s feelings is a great lesson as well. Teach children how their actions may affect others. With social media and associated issues it is important to stress the implications of how words can hurt others. Encourage positive talk whether on social media or not. Let them imagine how they would feel if they were the subject of negative talk.
Another issue that needs to be raised is promoting gratefulness. Children seem to have everything they need and more in today’s society. When they receive presents from friends and relatives, are they grateful? Do they phone and thank grandparents, aunties, etc. who have taken the time and effort to send them presents and cards? Many disgruntled “givers” out there have vowed never to send a present again!
Set the example in the home by being grateful for every day kindness. Thank your children for helping out with jobs. Insist on them being grateful for what you do for them. It’s a two-way street. They soon will get the message.
Electronic gadgets seem to be causing some distress in the older generation. Have you been to a household where the children barely have given you a look because they are on their smartphone, iPad or video game? Where is the respect you would expect from these children?
Parents are to be encouraged to set rules regarding electronic gadgets. For example, 1) hours of the day for use 2) 10 p.m. curfew for older children 3) to be put away when visitors arrive 4) not to be used at the table or at restaurants. You most likely can think of more relevant limits.
Please be vigilant with your children in all areas of values and principles. We have only touched the surface. It will make for a happier world in the future. You can all see the ramifications of a society without thought for others. You can make a difference by starting with your precious family. They are worth the investment of your time and valuable experience.