The key to giving your children a happy future? Virtues
As parents we want our children to grow up to be happy. According to many studies the key to giving your children a happy future is to teach them virtues.
We can do this every day through our own actions and we teach them by example. As parents we need to try to be well-rounded and balanced.
Here are a few virtues that it is essential to teach your children from early on:
Order: Children who are taught to be neat with their material things tend to have a greater facility in ordering their thoughts. Teach your child to respect order in their physical space by typing up and showing them how to pack their things away neatly.
Silence: This includes active listening. Learning to listen in silence is fundamental, as is learning to listen to ourselves—and this is only achieved through silence. Children tend to be active by nature they struggle to keep their minds quiet. Learning to be silent is as important for kids as it is for adults. There are activities and games that can help your child learn to meditate, such as the Montessori Silence Game, or “mindfulness” techniques.
Sincerity: Teach your child not to lie, even though they sometimes are capable of getting away with it. When you smile at someone in the car park or at the supermarket, be sincere. Sincerity is the foundation for mutual trust.
Temperance: The impulses of anger can cause us to make serious mistakes. Nerves have never been good counsellors, and arguments should not be resolved in the heat of the moment. When your child feels angry or sad, teach them to take time out. To go for a walk or to listen to music for a while. It is important to teach children to resolve conflicts and make decisions, activities that require frequent reflection.
Industriousness: Effort and perseverance are essential values that will help children achieve their goals. Objectives are often not achieved in a first attempt, but after many failed attempts. Hence the importance of teaching children to give their best effort in all their chores and duties. Through praise they learn personal satisfaction for a job well done.
Humility: Pride is never a good counsellor. It makes us forget where we came from, the difficulties we had to go through, and the mistakes we had to make in order to learn what we know today. Help your child remember that every teacher was once a disciple.
Many parenting techniques and fads come and go, but whatever method we use, teaching our children even just one virtue is a perennial and indispensable element of raising happy, balanced children.