Homo Sapiens or human beings are disparate from other species in their behavioural, habits. What is the one essential thing that sets them apart from other species? What makes them human? They are the core fundamental values which define the moral characteristics.
These values, known as virtues are what sets apart from other species help us bond into a community and make us better human beings. Although they are deeply rooted in our society, environment, within families and friends, it is essential to teach children the right values devoid of own personal views and opinions.
It is important to inculcate these universal virtues for the growth of a healthy individual. Here is a list of important virtues and tips to teach children to help them become better adults.
1) To treat animals with kindness
Kindness shouldn’t be withheld to only people around us, it should be extended towards any living being, regardless of their gender, race, age or even species. Teach the same to children, to be kind, especially towards animals and emphasizing that kindness is a virtue that extends to all is an important life virtue. Parents can inculcate this virtue in their little ones in a lot of different ways, but even small steps will go a long way for instilling kindness in their hearts. Reading about animals and their environment helps children to know what values they possess. Plan a visit to the nearest animal shelter and let your children interact with them. This will not only pique their curiosity, but they will also enjoy their time around with their four-legged friends.
2) To be honest in all situations
Children are observant by nature, they do what you do and they speak what you speak. Thus, being honest with them would be the first step to teach them a lesson about honesty. Encourage them to speak up even if they have done something wrong and then show your appreciation as a parent when they tell you the truth. The most important step though would be to never lie to children. This builds up trust in them and thus are inclined to do the same, making you a reliable figure in their lives. Honesty in children can go a long way and thus is the best policy.
3) To develop acceptance around people
The virtue of being accepting by nature can be especially difficult for children if they like to have their own way at all times. It is not a topic from a textbook which one can read out to them, or talk about once in a while. Teaching children that they can’t always choose their situations and people around them, is a daily value which starts right with you as a parent. Since children absorb everything you do and say, which goes on to form opinions in their head. Acceptance starts with you as a parent which is why one needs to take care of what they speak and behave around others and in all the situations. Reading books about diverse characters which cover different cultures, explaining why physical differences are not something to differentiate people with, can help to inculcate acceptance in children.
4) To have a sense of responsibility
A sense of responsibility starts from a young age, whether it extends to the responsibility of their words and actions or to the physical responsibilities involving chores and activities. It is important to teach children to take responsibility for their actions, success, and failures. Make them aware of their strengths and weaknesses. One can help them discover their sense of responsibility by modelling it around their house. Assign them chores, daily activities around the house and appreciate them if they accomplish it. Encourage children to show their confidence once they achieve it which in turn encourages them to shoulder their responsibility.
5) To be patient
The hardest virtue to acquire and inculcate would be the virtue of patience. In the present times, one can clearly understand the importance of some good old patience and thus understand the need to instil the same in children. Tell them that they would have to wait at times to get something, but do not let your word or promise down. If you do, then they can understand that being patient not only arouses their curiosity but also yield good things.
No matter what practical skills your children learn as they grow up. The most important part of life is the morals, the virtues, and the values they carry with themselves.