One of the most important jobs of any parent is to teach their child moral values and to instil those moral values into their very core. But what are the most relevant moral values for children in 2021, a world where there are so many pitfalls and conflicting opinions? It can sometimes be confusing. However, teaching our children the moral values that we believe in is all we can do for now, and by doing this we hope that it will be an internal compass to help them navigate life.
But what are moral values?
Morals: Simply put, morals are that inner core knowledge and application of right or wrong, good and bad. They have a greater social element based on what is socially acceptable.
Dictionary.com defines morals as: of, relating to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong;
Values, are how we judge something to be worthy. They are the rules by which we decide if something is good or bad, wrong or right.
Dictionary.com describes values as: to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance
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Let’s explore 5 important moral values for children, in 2021
Teaching our children right from wrong is one of our most important jobs as parents to give them the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the world as they grow and mature. We all have our own set of moral values, perhaps given to us by our own parents when we were young, but it’s vital to teach our children some ground rules and then let them discover what values are most important to them. Here’s some advice from a sixth form college in Hampshire on some of the most important moral values for children in a modern world.
Exemplify Kindness To Our Children
Kindness matters, and being kind toward others often elicits kindness in return. We should encourage our children to always be kind, particularly when people are going through challenging situations and help those in need as much as they can. This will boost their self-esteem and sense of worth as they realise how good it makes them feel to help others.
Always Demonstrate Politeness and Respect
Teach your child to respect others and treat them how they would like to be treated. By modelling good manners yourself, your child will get to see how people respond positively to politeness. Encourage your child to respect authority and treat people equally no matter how different they might be from them. Part of being respectful is allowing other people to express their opinions and ideas, and listening to them, so this is something you should also make sure your child understands.
Practising gratitude will stand your child in good stead throughout life, so spend some time talking to them about being grateful for everything they do have rather than complaining about what they don’t have. Teach them not to compare themselves negatively to others. If you demonstrate this type of behaviour yourself, there’s a good chance your child will internalise this sense of optimism and positivity about life and their place in the world.
I personally believe it’s essential that we teach our children to always put themselves in someone else’s shoes before we judge or criticise, or retaliate. It’s so easy to react in the moment, yet practicing gratitude teaches us to appreciate what we have, but also to understand where someone else might be coming from.
Show Perseverance and determination
Teaching your child not to give up when things get hard is one of the most important lessons you can impart. They’ll inevitably face challenges in their life and there will be many things they really want, so helping them understand that sometimes we have to be patient and keep going despite hardship to get what we desire will set them up for life.
Embrace Competition Graciously
Teaching our children that competition is healthy, but to also accept defeat graciously is an important life skill. Whilst community over competition seems to be a trending quality, there is still a place in society for competition in my opinion. Throughout our children’s lives they will always face some sort of challenge, but that doesn’t mean they should give up. Winning isn’t everything, but competition is healthy. It’s about being a gracious winner, and a gracious loser. Any team-based activity, be it maths club, football, gymnastics or dancing. Competition and community spirit also teach our children the morals and ethics of life and prepare them for the big wide world, one day.
Children’s sense of morality often comes from how they’ve seen their parents behave and act in the world, so make sure you’re demonstrating any values you want your child to adopt in life. These 5 moral values for children in 2021 are not a complete list, but I thought they were probably the most important ones that most people would immediately relate to. If you have any others you specifically think are important I’d love to hear them. Drop me a comment below.