The Importance of Instilling Family Values in Our Children
In our fast paced modern world, everybody is in so much of a hurry that they gloss over certain aspects of their lives which deserve a lot more attention.
Everyone must have a livelihood, especially if they have children. It is very easy to focus in on putting bread on the table and keeping clothes on our children, and spend all our energy doing so. By the time we get to bed at night, we are so worn out that it doesn’t even occur to us if we are instilling in our children the same traditional values that we learned from our parents growing up.
It is of utmost importance to everyone to feel part of something, more specifically part of a family.
The sense of having a strong family unit reinforces a child’s sense of belonging. What could be more important to a child than stability, knowing that his or her family will always be there to support when things go pear shaped. Lack of this family unit can lead to all sorts of problems, namely a lack of identity, which can often lead to anxiety, depression and low self-worth in later life. But not to get too downbeat, these problems can easily be avoided with reassurance. We must tell our children often that we love them, and support them in all their endeavours. Doing so will instil one of the most important family values into their consciousness.
Another important skill to teach our children is to empathise.
When we teach our kids to take the feelings of someone else into consideration, put the shoe on the other foot as it were, we are teaching them respect. It is very easy to go through life without noticing the feelings of others as focus on our own goal and achievements. To live as such is to live disrespectfully. If everybody took the time to teach this subtle skill to our children, the world would be a much more pleasant place to live. There is hardly any feeling which can trump the feeling one gets from feeling respected, and if we could pass this lesson alone down through the generations, our lives would have been well spent.
Teaching our children a lesson or two about respect is one thing, but making sure we are listening to our children is an entirely different subject, and one of paramount importance.
Every child should feel like they have someone to turn to, and what better way to strengthen the family unit than making sure that person is Mammy or Daddy? Children are the same as us adults; they have feelings, doubts, worries and fears. It is important to check in with them often and to reassure them that you are always there to listen, without judgement, to whatever they might have to say. This is the best way to develop a trusting bond with your child.
If we slow down for a second, and consider what is best for our children, can we honestly say that we are instilling into them a great set of values which will give them the strength to face the challenges of modern society? We would hope so.
By David Hughes