Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Values


With my daughter now in public school, we have met many children outside our little intimate playgroup. For the most part, it has been a good experience for her. However, I have noticed many children lack certain values that I try to instill in my kids. Before my daughter had entered elementary school, I had read more news reports on violent and disrespectful kids than I can count. I always felt bad for these children and their victims, but always dismissed the articles or reports. This could never happen in our small suburban neighborhood. Right!?! Unfortunately, my ignorance bubble was shattered a few short months after the first day of kindergarten. My daughter would come home daily with stories from school, especially from lunch time and from the bus. She even started picking up on some the disrespectful behavior. I have now returned to my daily reminders of the importance of good values. Every morning, to my eldest daughter’s dismay, I recite almost the same speech. She sometimes even recites it with me. And she always reminds me that she is already knows “all that stuff”. Still, I feel that it is my job to raise my children to be good citizens. If that means annoying them a little, oh well!

Although I feel that it is important to give my girls a little pep talk each morning, lecturing can only go so far. Children often learn better (in all areas) when they can actually do something. Doing is easier and more fun than listening. A few weeks ago, my girls each started their own garden. We began by going to the local nursery and picking our very own seeds. To accomplish any growth in their new garden, my kids are learning some very important values. Perseverance is a definite must! Since seeds don’t just grow into flowers overnight, the girls are learning the importance of patience and sticking to something they made a commitment to. They are also learning the importance of nurturing. They check their garden everyday to make sure it is getting enough water and sun. After their flowers bloom, they are deciding who they want to share them with. The value of thoughtfulness is very important to have throughout your life.


Charity is also an important value that should be taught at an early age. A charitable person can make such a big difference in the world, whether they help a single person or an entire country. From the age of two, I have shared my charitable works with my girls. Of course, being a stay at home with a hard working husband, I can’t do much. But what I can do, I know makes a difference. My children have watched me bring food to the salvation army soup kitchen, can goods to the soup pantry, collect toys for Toys for Tots, gather shoes for Soles for Souls, help friends on bed rest, work for Habitat for Humanity, and cut my hair for Locks of Love. Now that they are a bit older, they even ask me if they can donate toys or share their food. My eldest daughter even donated her long hair to Locks of Love!


The love and charity in their heart brings me overwhelming joy and I pray that they will keep their values close to their heart. As they grow, they will continue to face others who do not share in the same values and I pray that their little hearts will not be swayed. Do you think the values of America’s youth are strong? Who is to blame? The parents? The media? Our culture? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

7 comments:

Lanita @ A Mother's Hood said...

Like you, I was amazed at the misbehaviors of the children in Elle's class. When I would correct Elle, she would look at me and ask why she was getting in trouble when everybody else was doing the same things.

Commonly heard in our house is, "if you friend's jumped off a bridge, would you?" and "they are not my problem, you are my problem."

Peggy said...

Interesting as last week I had written on my blog about Thank you's and spending time with your kids...
I too think that many values are being set aside because people have channeled their energies in different areas now that there is so much technology around.
When my kids were home, I would send them off to school each day telling them to do something nice for someone. Then when they would come home I would ask them if they did, or saw someone else who had? It was just a good way to help them stay aware on how people can make a difference:)
Sounds like you are doing a great job:) Keep it up!

Elisabeth Marie said...

D. All of the above, unfortunately.

Kyrstin said...

There are so many things influencing our children these days. I just hope and pray that my influence is the greatest on my children and that the values I am instilling in them will carry over and stick with them as they grow. It sounds like are doing a great job with your girls. My son will start kindergarten in the fall - I hope that he remembers everything we have taught him - but I will be sure to remind him everyday too!

Rachel Cotterill said...

I think it's great that you're taking so much care to make sure that your children have solid values. Maybe it will start to rub off the other way on their peers, eventually.

Missie said...

I homeschooled my kids and they also went to public school during their high school years. I hope I instilled in them good morals, but like all kids, they can act so different when they're with their peers and away from us parents.

Redbonegirl97 said...

I wish more parents would instill these values in their children, but alas we have way too many kids raising themselves.

Tiffany
http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com