Children and Value
“Don’t pull my shirt! It’s expensive!”
I turned around to observe the commotion. There, in the middle of the mall, I saw a little girl yelling at her younger brother.
Immediately I wondered to myself, “Why is such a young girl concerned about her shirt solely due to the fact that it was expensive? And why does she even know that it was expensive?”
Sadly, her parents (and many others) put emphasis on the wrong things. We should be teaching our children how to love one another and how to tell the difference between right and wrong. However, many children are taught that they should be proud of their clothes because they are “nice.”
Clothes and other worldly possessions are not of major importance. That’s the reason I never dress my children in clothes that have characters on them or the latest quirky quotes. And if they are wearing something “nice” I never tell them where I got it or what I paid for it.
A Better Lesson
Instead, I want my children to know that they, as individuals, are valuable. I never want the first complement my children hear to be about their clothes. When my children walk into a room I prefer that they are complemented on their character, their behavior, or even their manners.
Children begin to understand that they themselves are valuable when they are complemented on these things. Your children are valuable and important the way they are. We should all make children and value something we think about more often.
Our children are drowning in a society that tries to convince them that their clothes or belongings are what makes them important. They hear things like, “If you have this newest item, you’ll be the most popular kid in school.”
Teach Them to Be Good People
Children and value go hand in hand more than you may think. Parents need to teach their little ones what value really means from a very early age. Praise your children every time they work hard and complete a task, when they share, when they are considerate, when they are honest, and when they are humble enough to ask for help.
Don’t praise them for having a cool jacket, a pretty dress, new shoes, a neat backpack, or even a shiny new toy. Allow them to feel the excitement and pride from a complement….but make it the right kind of complement.
Your Kids are Valuable the Way They Are
As parents, we need to do everything we can to instill in our children a higher standard. They need to understand that being adorned in the latest fashion or the shiniest new accessory does not give them more or less value. And we should never make them believe otherwise.
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