The recording industry persists in promoting hip-hop artists and rock stars despite rap sheets that continue to grow. Sadly, young people worship celebrities. It is these conflicting messages that your children receive every day that make your job of teaching healthy values so much more difficult. A compelling way to foster your children's understanding and appreciation of values is to talk to them about value dilemmas that they will face as they move through childhood and into young adulthood.
For younger children, topics might include lying, selfishness, stealing and cheating. Issues for older children can include sexual behavior and alcohol and drug use. You can also identify value breakdowns from popular media, for example, the poor behavior of actors, athletes, businesspeople and politicians there is no shortage of well-known offenders! Value dilemmas arise every day in your children's lives. Either they are faced with dilemmas themselves, see them occur among their peers or are evident in popular media.
You should have your "radar" attuned to these dilemmas and use them as opportunities to educate your children about these quandaries.
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With younger children, you will want to emphasize the tangible consequences of the choices presented in the dilemmas, for example, what trouble they would get into if they stole a piece of candy that they really wanted. With older children, you can have more sophisticated discussions about self-respect, dangers to themselves and others and implications for their futures, for example, what are the personal, social, physical and criminal ramifications of drinking and driving?
It can be exhausting and discouraging when faced with how ever-present, intense and unrelenting popular media is. It can be frustrating trying to guide your children in the healthy use of technology when the world in which they are immersed has ideas to the contrary. One of the best things you can do to help your cause is to surround your children with value-driven people who will support your efforts and resist those of popular media.
This carefully chosen social world should be an extension of your own values that you hold and the value messages that you want your children to get. Like-minded people can be found in the communities in which you choose to live, the schools your children to attend, the friends that you and your children adopt, and the cultural, athletic, religious, and entertainment activities in which you and your children decide to participate. This support envelops your children in a sort of value-powered "force field" that can help repel popular media when your children are outside your home.
This shield acts to protect your children by keeping their immediate surroundings, relationships, and messages healthy even when the larger messages raining down on them from billboards, stores, television, movies, and the Internet are unhealthy. For example, if you don't like your children to play violent video games, you'll trust that the friends they visit will have a similar attitude.
Building a community of value-driven people means making deliberate choices about the world you want your children live in away from your home. Small changes can include finding a new sports league that emphasizes fun and participation over winning, a new piano teacher who is less demanding, or making the local mall off-limits to your children.
Large-scale changes can include enrollment in a new school, attending a different house of worship, or not allowing your children to see friends who you believe are bad influences on them. When you actively create a caring community, you accrue significant benefits for both you and your children.
You'll feel less alone and more supported as you attempt to teach your children healthy values in the face of the behemoth of popular media. Your children will feel less the burden to conform to the values imposed on them by a world that they know isn't healthy. When your children leave your home, you and they will know they are entering a world that is populated by value-driven people who will assist them in making positive choices in the face of unrelenting pressure from popular media.
Sport psychologist, parenting expert, professor, author, speaker, elite athlete. News U. HuffPost Personal Video Horoscopes. Newsletters Coupons. Follow Us. Part of HuffPost Parenting. You copy a few answers and end up getting an A- on the test. You're a little mad at yourself for not studying harder and you're really worried about your grade. Still, you keep your eyes on your paper and do your best. Unfortunately your best that day is only a C on the test. Reverse sides: Your conscience bothers you. You know that you didn't deserve the A. You wonder if anyone saw you cheating. It's a little hard for you to get to sleep that night.
On the next test you're unprepared again.
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You resolve to study harder. Next test you do better. You like yourself because you know you are honest. Other people like you because they know you can be trusted. Develop other cards to meet your own situation. Let the short-term consequence of a dishonest act be good, the long-term consequence bad. Develop cards on honesty with parents, with siblings, with friends, with institutions, and so on. After playing the game ask the question What could a person do if he made the dishonest choice and felt bad about it afterward? He could return the money, apologize, etc.
The Honesty Pact Decide in advance, within your family, to be strictly honest with each other. Toward the end of this "month" on honesty, get together as a family around the dinner table or on an outing.
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Thank the children for their help in thinking about honesty during the month. Review what everyone has learned. Ask if anyone knows what a "pact" is. Suggest that the family have a pact of strict honesty so that every family member can explicitly trust every other family member. Write up a short pact, starting with the words "We promise each other The Honesty-Under-Pressure Award This is a motivational way to get children to evaluate their personal honesty every week.
On Sundays or whatever day you most often get your whole family together for a meal ask, "Who had a situation this past week where it was a challenge to be honest? A piece of construction paper or colored card with a neatly printed H. Honesty Under Pressure will do nicely as the award. Let the child or adult who wins put it on his bedroom door during the week until it is awarded again the next week. After a couple of weeks of "getting used to," you will find that children are willing to think hard about their behavior of the past week in hopes of winning the award.
And it is this kind of thinking and recognition that strongly reinforces honesty. Story: "Isabel's Little Lie" Tell the following story to help your children understand how one lie can lead to another and produce serious consequences: One day Isabel told a little lie. She wasn't supposed to feed her dinner to her dog, Barker, but she did, and when her mother came in and saw her plate all clean, Isabel said that she had eaten it all.
That was a little lie, wasn't it? The dinner was chicken, and Barker got a bone in his throat. Pretty soon he started to cough and snort and act very uncomfortable.
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That was another lie, wasn't it? But Isabel had to do it so that Mother wouldn't know she told the first lie. Mother looked in Barker's mouth but couldn't see anything. But she didn't want her mother to know about the first two lies. Barker got worse, and Mother took him to the animal hospital. Isabel went too. But if Isabel had told, then Mother and the dog doctor would know she had lied before. The dog doctor said, "If it's just a bone, we could get it out with an instrument, but it might be glass, so we may have to operate.
She said, "It's a bone, and I did know Barker ate it, and I didn't eat all my dinner, and I did give it to Barker, and I won't tell lies anymore, because if you tell one, you might have to tell more and more. Write each of the following emotion-related adjectives on a small card. Shuffle the cards and give five to each family member.
Each player has forty-five seconds to pantomime the actions gestures, facial expressions, etc. Score one point for each motion correctly guessed. After each person has a turn, shuffle the cards and distribute five to each person again and repeat the process until one person scores 10 points. Eventually children will learn how to better display the emotions they feel as well as how to recognize them in others. The idea is to help children to accept their own emotions, recognize how others ar feeling, and be able to talk honestly about both. Here is a list of emotions, feelings, and attitudes to pantomime: loving kind optimistic empathetic grateful loyal sensitive active sly mean angry envious selfish spoiled resentful remorseful appreciative nice affectionate serene friendly free respectful untruthful unfriendly defensive fair sorry rude concerned trusting calm warm tender responsible reliable cooperative honorable foolish greedy unfair insensitive unequal thoughtful cheerful helpful forgiving interested gentle passive hurt jealous guilty annoyed disgusted remorseful cowardly Methods for Adolescents Analyze Types of Dishonesty This kind of discussion can help older children to grasp the broader definitions of honesty and dishonesty.
Say, "There are really a lot of different types of dishonesty. Let's see how many we can list. What are some kinds of dishonesty to self? Saying you got in earlier than you really did Not being able to admit it when you are scared or worried or insecure Discuss Types of Dishonesty Follow up on the foregoing discussion of types of dishonesty to help children to want total honesty for themselves.
Ask, "Are any of these forms of dishonesty okay?
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What about white lies or little exaggerations? Help them to see that even "little lies" are usually unnecessary: You can think a little harder and come up with an honest compliment; you don't really need to exaggerate, etc. If you're going to be honest, why not be completely honest?
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