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There are several books on moral values for teens, while the internet is also overloaded with content on such topics. However, neither books nor internet can infuse values among teens. It’s a parent who can raise a kid that appreciates, follows and supports justice, loyalty, courtesy, respect, empathy and other core values. What the youth learns today will make or break them tomorrow. Albert Einstein, a genius once said, “Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value”. Here is how you can turn your teen into a man or woman of value.
It’s good sharing values with teens, but it’s better to follow them first. How can you expect your youngster not to use cigarette or talk politely with neighbors when you yourself do the opposite. It does not mean that you need to be perfect to be a parent, but you have to set good example for your teens to follow in your footsteps. Giving long lectures on loyalty, honesty, empathy etc. is wastage of time unless you follow these values in your daily life.
Make it clear to teens that there are certain things you cannot compromise on. Share your personal morals and explain why you value them or how they help you in your daily life. This will help you in starting a deep conversation with your kids. Teens must know why they should follow certain values and the impact these values can have on their lives. For instance, you can share how practicing loyalty, honesty and respect helped you in your professional life. Build the interest of teens in values so that they are keen to absorb and adopt them rather than feeling pressured into accepting them.
There are two ways of sharing family values with teens. The first one is to give long lectures on honesty, loyalty, etc., whereas the second way is to find the right moment to teach family values. For instance, if you watch news about a person risking his life to save someone else’s life, then immediately use it as example to talk about being courageous. If a person shouts at his parents or any elderly person in public, then you can talk about respect, honor and decency. You can relate values to daily life events in order to tell teens why these values matter to you. Some parents talk about values after teen does something wrong. This is not a good approach. It’s highly advised that you start imparting values right from an early age.
Your job is not just to share values with teens, but also to appreciate them when they practice these values. For instance, if your teen is honest with you about anything, then you can tell them how proud you are. When they show you respect and courtesy, appreciate them for their actions. This will give them a pleasant feeling that they are doing something good. With your continuous support and appreciation, your teens will eventually develop these values and follow them in their daily life.