Every family and every parental unit establishes values and belief systems for the children in their home, regardless if they are aware of it or not. For example, one family might say that they don’t use violence for settling problems. That’s a value statement. Or maybe another family says that no one is allowed to wear shoes inside the house. Again, that’s another value statement.
Do You Have Family Rules?
As an outsider to the family, you might think that it’s just a family rule. But, if the parents value the life of their family and don’t wish to have outside germs, bacteria, and so forth introduced into the carpeting, then that’s a value system. Or, if a family has an infant who rolls on or plays on the carpet, the parents might want to keep the area free of anything that the baby might ingest. Basically, parental values for a child are a set of guidelines that the parent(s) believe are important to them, and they will enforce their value system on every family member and how they behave.
It’s a known fact that a child who grows up in a supportive and loving family environment that includes parental involvement in the child’s life will typically help the child, later on, to make better life choices, strive for better grades in school, and reap a prosperous life.
Children Need Rules and Guidelines in Their Everyday Life
However, children do need guidelines so that they, too, can form their own values. The true test of a child’s value system as established by the parental unit is always evident with how the child interacts and functions while outside of the parent’s four walls. I remember a time when I was visiting a friend’s home and the girl’s father offered me a chocolate candy bar for dessert after dinner. Since my mother was a dental hygienist, she had always forbidden me to have candy or sweet treats unless she said it was okay. So, I didn’t take the chocolate candy bar, because my value system was on full alert that I wasn’t allowed to have candy.
A Child’s Behavior is the Result of Confidence or Fear
Likewise, a young child’s moral behavior might initially be motivated by the child’s desire to please his beloved adults, but sometimes those values might be triggered by a fear or the punishment that will follow.
A child instinctively knows when a parent disrespects them when they are shamed, punished just because a parent is angry, or denied basic necessities such as food or warm clothing. Yet, even when some situations are not fully understood by a child, value systems are clearly being formed that will impact that child’s future.
Children learn values from the adults that raise them, and those values are as unique as every human being. If a child is taught that it’s okay to steal food because the family is poor, then that becomes a value that appears okay in the child’s mind. However, if a parent never says no to a child, the kid quickly learns that he can socialize his parents and do whatever he wants.
Parents with sound and positive values for their children will bring qualities to a child that will remain with him for the rest of his life. Those values will direct his behavior, social attitudes, conduct, and how the child responds to and respects other human beings. Do you believe that your parents valued you?