6/18/2012: In Session with Carol Pedro: Executive Director, Youth and Family Counseling Service
of us have conventional values. Values
taught to us to live in “reasonable harmony with other people.” Somewhere, somehow parents, teachers and
peers have helped us to develop these values.
We are not born with values.
Children up to about the age of 7 absorb everything and accept it as
true, especially from our parents. Later
up to about age 13 we “copy” people’s behavior but not just our parents. But it is no longer “blind acceptance” we
begin to try what fits us…like a suit of clothes. After 13 and up to about 21 we are largely
influenced by our peers, naturally turning to people more like us. Other influences like the media become very important.
what? Maybe you knew all this
already. Well…look at the latest trends
of sexting, bullying, gangs and significantly amoral behaviors. The media is loaded with these stories.
what? Here’s what. No value system. Kids learn to love and value themselves all
throughout their lives. By high school
their self-value, self-esteem, principles and morals are well
established. “Your values are your
current estimations of truth. They
represent your answer to the question of how to live.” Steve Paulina
parents frustrated with the current challenges of raising safe and healthy kids
today ask “How do I know my kids will be safe and make the right
decision?” Here are 15 things your kids
should value more than possessions:
1. Honesty – Children who learn the value and
importance of honesty at a young age have a far greater opportunity to become
2. Family members – Work hard to teach your
children about the importance of family.
Look out for one another, care for one another, and cheer for one
another. Home is a safe place.
Learning – Children need to value education.
Teach them to love reading, exploring, curiosity and how to ask good
4. Their Soul – Instill into our kids that they
are more than just flesh and blood taking up space.
5. The Opposite Sex – Boys need to learn to
value and respect girls. Girls need to
learn to value and respect boys.
6. Nature – Children who learn to appreciate the
world around them learn to take care of the world around them.
7. Friendship – Good friends can be tough to
come by, yet they can make all the difference in the kind of life that we live.
8. Determination – Life is full of
challenges. Helping children learn that
not all problems will be solved quickly and easily is important.
9. Quietness – In a world full of noise,
enjoying and valuing quietness is rare.
But solitude and meditation provides us the opportunity to self-evaluate
our life, our decisions, and our direction.
Hard Work – Most people see hard work as just a means to an end. But hard work should be a reward in itself
because not all hard work of lasting value is compensated handsomely.
Justice – Life isn’t fair. It never will
be – there are just too many variables.
Art – Art represents the ability to create and communicate. The importance of art in a society, culture, or
individual can never be overstated and should always be valued and appreciated.
Animals – Recognizing the intrinsic value of animals helps children treat them
with care and respect. Treating animals
with care and respect is an important step to treating other people with care
Affection – Love should not just be felt, it also needs to be expressed to be
fully enjoyed and realized.
Themselves – People who learn to value themselves are more likely to have
self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.
Becoming Minimalists by Joshua Becker)
look to us to guide them, show them…I have heard children directly ask
questions about what to do. We all need
to listen and answer not just with words but by how we live. Let your kids “catch you” doing the right