First of all, your children need to be confronted with authority-based information. Your children need to have value concepts to work with such as found in the book of Proverbs from the Bible. In the Proverbs you will find concept for deciding such issues as lying, stealing, drugs, alcohol, and sex.
Your children also need an opportunity to reflect on those concepts. Provide opportunities to meditate and encourage your children to do quiet reflecting about life. It’s okay to sit on the roof or behind a tree. Maybe those are good places for them to reflect as they listen to a bird, watch a sunset, count the clouds. You can also encourage meditating, by letting them see you spending quiet, reflective times.
Your children need an opportunity to discuss values--a free time of give and take where they can verbalize their questions and their doubts. Don’t kill their questions with the famous old line, "Just do it because I said so!" You may be able temporarily to silence your children and make them do or think what you want them to, but that old line certainly won’t work during the teen years.
Your children need life experience to establish their own values. Use incidents around them or in the community as learning experiences to help them develop their value system. Talk about the kids who are cheating in school. They are getting ahead and are getting better grades than they deserve now, but cheating is only a short-term gain. Help them think about what happens to people who keep on cheating. Point out some of the examples of white collar crimes, of people who have become dependent on cheating and finally are caught.
Life experiences, coupled with the other three factors--value information, meditation time, and free discussion--will help develop a positive value system in your children.
An important part of life experience is to avoid protecting your children from all the results of their own wrongdoing. For example, if one of your children is caught cheating in school, let the child experience the natural consequences without your interference. Then the life experience help bring about change and growth in your child.
Conway / Farrel Articles ~ Reprint by permission only, ©2011
Midlife Dimensions ~ www.Midlife.com
The Conways and Farrels are international speakers and popular authors.
Midlife Dimensions is a ministry founded by the Conways and continued by the Farrels.