A few days ago I was talking with some moms about a popular childrens book. I found it strange that even though the group of parents I was talking to made reference to certain values that were not being taught by this book, they didnt really have a handle on what values truly are and how they work. They really weren't sure how to get their children to do the 'right thing' by teaching a value.
We seem to be too worried about 'the rules' and enforcing them, that as parents we aren't looking at the big picture of our children's lives. It's in the big picture where positive values and morals are seen. It's not whether your teen got an 'A' on his science project, it's if he values what an education is going to do for him. Which is a catch-22, because if he values the education, he'll strive for the 'A'.
Values are the desirable principles in someones character that society considers worthwhile. Friendliness and courage are values. Morals work with the judgment of values as they emerge in actions. Promptness is a value; therefore, it is morally wrong to be late to work.
Your teen needs you to teach him/her values so they can create their own strong moral fiber. People who have good moral fiber:
- are successful in their relationships with other people. They know how to treat another person with respect and know how to earn respect from other people. They are the type of people who you find you want to be friends with.
- contribute positively to society by reaching beyond themselves out into their community. They get involved and help where they can.
- take responsibility for their actions. They try to fix any mistakes they make. They are capable of feeling a sense of accomplishment when they finish a task. People who do not have base values arent even able to feel good about doing something right.
- are capable of learning and growing both socially and emotionally.
- are generally happier. They grab on to the best of what life has to offer them. They can see the light at the end of the tunnel when life gets tough.
Success in life is picked up in bits and pieces along our journey. When you give your teenager values and help him/her build a strong moral fiber, youre giving him/her the ability to pick and choose which bits and pieces are a worthy part of their journey to success.