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How to Instill Good Values in Your Child
Have you ever wondered how to instill good values in your child? Experience shows that most parents and teachers choose one of three different systems to achieve this goal. One of those systems produces children who lack good values. The second enters good values in a routine way. The third system works and works well when parents follow it consistently. The secret? Your child will love the flags.
Let’s look at these systems together.
(1) MUZZY SYSTEM: This method of inculcating values sees the body of moral values as a vast gray area filled with excess, eg, actions or ideas that are messy and unpredictable. This system tries to instill good values in your child using actions or ideas that keep bouncing from here to there. You can never really find them out. You can never really say, “This moral value requires this kind of behavior, and these are the positive and negative consequences of that behavior.”
I saw the muzzy system in action a month ago in our community. Being on friendly terms with the executive vice president of the community management team, we had a friendly discussion about the poor enforcement of the written regulations governing the community. At the close of the discussion, the executive vice president stated, “There’s always this big gray area.”
Really? Our discussion focused on legally binding community regulations, yet she found it difficult to predict what action, if any, she and her team might take with a non-compliant resident. Once residents discovered this moving room, the violations increased. If we visualize management’s efforts to enforce the lease as a giant television screen, we see a “snowstorm” of turbulent expectations. Their rent enforcement remains erratic, unpredictable and never in focus.
Do you know how to instill good values in your child with the muzzy system? Dump the system. You cannot instill good values in your child with a fuzzy gray carpet of vague ideas.
(2) MONOCHROMATIC SYSTEM: A parent or teacher who uses this system to instill good values in children sees moral values in a monochromatic scheme of sharp blacks and whites. Unlike the muzzy system, this choice presents clear concepts of right and wrong. These concepts never change. Honesty never goes from fully abiding the truth one time to allowing little white lies the next. Parents do not present moral values as erratic, unpredictable behaviors that require an action today and an action tomorrow.
Try applying this system to the management team above. What would have to change from that “big gray area”? The team needs to make it clear to all residents that they see the regulations in black and white – not grey. They will have to insist on compliance, stating immutable consequences of non-compliance. Finally, they will have to act to achieve compliance.
Over many centuries, parents wanting to instill good values in their children, used the monochromatic system very successfully. Parents taught clear differences between black and white when it came to moral values. They helped children structure their lives around moral values written, literally, in stone: The Ten Commandments.
This method of instilling good values in children still works for parents who work diligently to fit their lives with strong character traits. If you qualify as a parent with strong character, use the monochromatic system to instill good values in your child. Teach them a well-defined, clear honesty, not a vague and unpredictable one. Teach them a self-control that never acts on a whim—one that keeps oneself on the moral path regardless.
Learn how to instill good values in your child with the monochromatic system and he will never lose what action to choose.
(3) VIBRANCY SYSTEM: Decades before we reach 2019 (when I am writing this article), our society became a vibrant society with vibrant colors! Since the creation of the Earth, people had lived in color. The sky, water, earth, plants, animals, and human bodies all pulsate with a rainbow of colors. Then, emerging technologies made vivid color available in everything from TV and movies to backpacks. We moved rapidly from dull to monochromatic to vivid – but rarely used it to instill good values. Why?
Think about how you and the adults you know view values. Maybe you see a gray block. I speak as a career educator when I say that children do not learn better from gray. Give them a piece of paper with a large gray square and ask them to describe the good values they see. They can’t. They see nothing but a gray box. Schools don’t use gray to teach math, science, etc.
Maybe you see in black and white. Children can and do learn from monochromatic black and white. Write the list of 66 character traits in white on a blackboard, ask the children to describe the good values they see and they can agree. Schools use black and white to teach math, science, etc. – but not exclusively. They use color and I want to draw your attention to that.
HOW TO INSTALL YOUR CHILD GOOD VALUES USING FLAGS
Good values exist in beautiful, rich colors like the vibrant colors of most nations’ flags. Did you know that the colors used in flags most often symbolize specific good values? What more memorable way can you use to instill good values in your child?
Take a picture of a flag or flag and see the world through your child’s eyes.
Start with your nation’s flag. There will likely be red, white and blue. Twenty-nine (29) nations use these three colors in their flags. Those nations often associate a common symbolism with red, white, and blue—and a flag can be your first tool to teach your child these values.
Red, symbolic of a nation’s war, stands for courage.
White represents purity, peaceAND UNITY.
Blue stands for bravery, Justice, LOYALTYAND persistence.
You can instill those eight good values in your child by using an actual flag or photo of a flag. Learn the colors one by one. Learn the specific values of a color one by one. In other words, you’ll want to spend 8-11 teaching sessions on the values symbolized by red, white, and blue. You want the child to know how each value says to behave – how to act. Give them examples and create opportunities within the home for regular practice.
Associate the other colors of the flag with specific moral values to help your child see with “vividness” and long remember the character traits you value.
Use light red or pink hearts to enter love as described in pictures and words at: https://bettilousblog.com/warning-real-love-works/. Explain that love is not just warm feelings. True love requires action. True love works. Help your child understand and engage in specific acts of love on a regular basis.
We could give more suggestions on how to instill good values in your child, but this article would exceed the limits of space. Research on your own – or create your own color symbolism by letting your child draw and color illustrative flags. Place them in the child’s room as a “take it off” reminder. Use them for review, but most important of all – practice these values consistently as a model for your child to follow.
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