Teach Values Through Discussion... No child can be perfect. Moral development is a long process that involves learning by making mistakes. If your child falters sometimes, but does well in general, take heart. Keep focusing on issues such as these:
- Considering feelings. Ask your child questions like, "How do you think that person feels?" Discuss how your child's behavior impacts others' emotions.
- Building self-control. Explain that when your child is upset, it's important to think before he acts. Compliment his good decisions. "It was hard to stay calm when your sister yelled at you. Good job!"
- Developing a conscience. Help your child take responsibility for mistakes and successes. For example, "You left your legos out, and I tripped on them. We all need to clean up after ourselves." Or, "Thank you for telling me the truth. I'm glad I can trust you."
- Encouraging respect. Give your child specifics about how to be polite. Role-play difficult situations. Set a good example, such as by saying, "I don't agree with what you said. But I like hearing your opinion."
- Teaching tolerance. Talk about the value of people's differences. What if everyone looked the same, acted the same, and did the same things?
Source: Vicky Mlyniec, "Everyday ways to teach values," The Parent Institute, Inc.