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Passing values on to our children, Part 1

January 26th, 2009 / 6 Comments

A parent asked me, “How do I teach my children good values?”

Actually, teaching values to our children is both easy and hard.

It’s easy because you don’t have to do anything extraordinary or inconvenient. There are no books to buy, no conferences to attend.

But here’s the hard part. You are non-stop teaching your children values, whether you intent to or not. Your children are watching you 24/7, and they are learning from what they see.

You teach good values to your children with the quality of your own life. Our example in the way we live our lives is the most effective teacher.

Instead of writing a 1,000 word post to explain further, this poem says it all. I realize that it is true what they say: Values are caught, not taught. No matter what the age of your child, you will continue to influence him with the way you live, even when you thought he wasn’t looking.

When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking
by Mary Korzan

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed there is a God I could always talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw that you cared
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I looked . . . .
and wanted to say thanks for all the things I saw
when you thought I wasn’t looking.

Read all 3 Parts of Passing values on to our children.

Photo by fazen

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  1. […] yesterday’s post, I covered Part 1 of a reader’s question, “How do I pass our values on our […]

  2. That is where the rubber hits the road, isn’t it? I think the #1 reason adult children abandon the stated values of their parents is hypocrisy. If the parents say one thing, and model another, the children will rebel against what the parents say.

  3. Millie: Parents have a tough job. When we do not live up to our own ideals, we need to acknowledge our shortcomings.

  4. […] answer to a reader’s question, “How do I pass our values on our children?”, I posted Part 1 and Part […]

  5. […] Passing Values On To Our Children – Part 1,  Part 2,  Part 3 Tagsparentingparents […]

  6. Thank you for the article. It really is true that everything that you do is going to be watched by your kids. Even when they are grown up, they still will look to you for advice and council on a lot of different topics and subjects.


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