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I have always thought of a Mountie in a Red Serge synonymous to Canada and values of respect, honesty, compassion, integrity and justice. And that is the reason why my second kid’s book has a Mountie as one of its important characters and is set in the birthplace of this world-famous institution.

Values are important as they govern our behaviour, attitudes, decisions and relationships in life. These values start developing in early childhood and consciously teaching them starts with knowing what is important to us. Recognizing that good values lay the foundation for the life ahead, create a hierarchy of 5 values you desire in your child and yourself.

There is a famous quote, “Children do as they see, not as they are told.”

Often parents tell white lies to deflect tantrums, delay a difficult discussion and for many other reasons. Studies show that when parents lie, children are more likely to lie too. Instead of protecting your child from harsh realities, take these kinds of difficult situations to teach them how to deal with disappointments, manage emotions, solve problems and develop that important moral value...Honesty!

Another famous quote, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

If a parent is rude to a server in a restaurant, children will notice and model the same. Respect is an act of due regard for feelings, rights and values of others. Therefore, be mindful and use daily interactions to help children learn that important value…Respect.

My favourite quote, “Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity, your mind for truth, and your heart for love.”

Caring for others, encouraging children to think about others’ feelings and engaging in regular community service develops another important moral value…Empathy.

As a teacher we caught “rain drop of character” on a display board to nurture these. Children would write a thank-you note to whoever exhibited good values such as being kind, taking turns and sharing, showing respect and patience, teamwork, taking responsibility, using words in conflicts instead of their hands, helping others, etc., and drop it in that child’s “bucket” with an explanation why. At the end of each month, this was acknowledged in a group session.

My last quote, “If we can’t see eye to eye, let’s try heart to heart.”

Who says family meetings should only take place in crisis? It can be a wonderful opportunity to share family stories that impart values, discuss arising issues and allow

each member of the family to input their ideas and find a solution that works the best.

And most importantly…taking the time to have fun! Our favourite is playing board games.

Parents play a crucial role in shaping their children’s character and empowering them to become the best version of themselves! How, What and When do you teach values to your children?

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