I have decided to post a lengthy post about family values. I have seen friends who grew up in destructive environments and I have friends who grew up in constructive environments. I wanted to share out of my heart what are my views and takes on Family Values today.
My definition of a value is as follows. It is a good or bad attitude that becomes ingrained (firmly fixed) in us. This attitude will be shown through our actions. It is the thing that helps us to differentiate wrong and right.
Having good family values is very important especially for families with growing up kids. The words that we speak and the actions that we do will influence the kids as they grow up. This thing in turn translates to either a good or bad value. It is very important for the parents to teach good values to their kids. This starts the moment they are born. Many of us think that values can only be taught when the infant turns into a toddler/pre-schooler. However I feel that this is not correct. The moment the child is brought to the world, the foundation of good values can be built.
As for me, When Reuben came into the world, the first thing we did as the parents were to carry him tight as if giving him a hug. This actually sends a signal to him that we love him very much. Love is the foundation to build good values. When there is love, it is much easier to cultivate good values. Even till today when Reuben is 18 weeks old, we will always carry him and hug him. Children are born with a constant need to be loved.
Why should we build good values in our kids at such a young age?
It is easier to teach them something at a very young age before they are influenced with the outside world. Young kids are very easily influenced. The parents should teach the right values as soon as they can. If they don’t, the friends whom they mix with in school will be the ones that influence them. If the kids mix with the right company, it is fine. If the kid mixes with the wrong company, the consequences might be undesirable.
What are three of the good values that DaddyChow feel that is essential?
Being kind is no longer a norm in today’s society. In the working world, we see business associates hurling unkind words to one another. When we walk on the street, no one seems to care about the old person selling small items just to make a living. During our younger days, there used to be the kindness movement with the Courtesy Lion. It seems like there need to be such a campaign to advocate kindness when kindness should be coming out from us naturally. Society teaches us that we must be scheming so that we can achieve our targets. However this is not true. When you are kind, people are naturally attracted to you.
2) Daring to step out
Most of us grew up in an era where entrepreneurship was a taboo. We will just follow the Singapore education of studying hard and get top grades so that we can find high paying jobs. Most of us were afraid to step out of our comfort zone to do things that can succeed and also make money. We were afraid to fail. Failure means we are doomed forever.
It is very normal of any human being to give up the moment they face failure. Only roughly 15 percent of the human race will stand up and try again even when they failed. In the face of social and family pressure, most people will give up. Perseverance is such a rare commodity nowadays in our harsh society. However, perseverance will be the key differentiator between a successful and unsuccessful person.
Two ways how we can build good values in our kids?
1) Be a good role model to our kids. Even as an infant, our child is watching our every action and every word that is spoken. If we are speaking unkind words, the child will pick up and feel that is ok to speak unkind words.
The child looks at their parents as their role models. Even if society teaches them bad things, there is a high chance that it can be erased from the child’s mind if their parents are a good example to them.
An example: You and your kid could be queueing for food and someone just cuts your line, instead of shouting at the person, you can kindly tell the person to move behind and queue. There is no need to raise your voice.
Another example: your kid will think it is alright to lie to people if he/she knows that the dad lied to the hawker he had no money and he needed to feed his kids so as to get a free meal. Which in fact, the dad has the money to pay for the meal.
2) Always spend time communicating with our kids. It is said that effective communication is one of the keys to life. This is so apt. As we grow up in this digital age, we seem to be communicating more with our mobile phones, tablets or computers as opposed to face to face communication. Every child desires to have a meaningful conversation with us. Right now, I spend at least half an hour talking to Reuben every night even though he does not know what I am talking about. This sends a signal to him at such a young age that communication is important.
Many kids grow up not being able to have a decent conversation with their parents. They would rather talk to their computers than to their parents. We as parents need to be able to tell our kids what they have did right and what they have did wrong. We do not do it by scolding them but through meaningful conversations. In this way, good values can slowly be introduced to the kids during the conversation. They will learn to differentiate what is right and what is wrong.
If possible, try to dedicate a certain time of the day. Example: 9 to 930pm to talk to the kids and understand them better. In this way, you not only enhance your relationship with the kids, you can teach them good values.