teaching your children values

Teaching Your Children Values
by linda and richard eyre
teaching your children values

i’ve only read the introduction
and the sections on peaceability, love and respect,
but this is a great tool
for teaching values in the home.

in the introduction the authors
— parents of 9 —
define values universally
without the influence of religion
so than anyone can use them
— and put their own religious influence back in (smile).

the authors defined a value as something that produces behavior that benefits the one who does it and the one who to whom it is done with the criteria that it must be a quality that is distinguished by “its ability to multiply and increase in our possession even as it is given away and the more it is given to others the more it will be returned by others and received by ourselves.”

concisely put, values are “self-benefiting qualities that are given as they are gained
and gained as they are given.”

or as i would tell my 5 and 3 year old:
values are what make you behave in a way that is both helpful to you
and the one you are helping
and makes your path to jannah a joyful journey.

they also explain the why, when, where, who, what and how of teaching values to children.

  • why: “Living by certain tried-and-proven standards is the best route to personal happiness as well as to a stable and productive society.”
  • when: “Values should be taught to children of all ages — with differeing agendas and changing emphasis as children mature.”
  • where: “Values are best taught in the home.”
  • who: “Parents are the crucial exemplars and instructors”
  • what: “Each parent must decided which values to teach. This book is a menu from which to choose and a teaching system that will help with whatever values parents select.”
  • how: “There are some methods especially well suited to teaching values to preschoolers. Other methods work best for elementary ages, and still others are effective for adolescents.”

the values discussed in this book are

  • honesty,
  • courage,
  • peaceability,
  • self-reliance and potential,
  • self-discipline and moderation,
  • fidelity and chastity,
  • loyalty and dependability,
  • respect,
  • love,
  • unselfishness and sensitivity,
  • kindness and friendliness, and
  • justice and mercy.

you’re supposed to address one value a month
using various techniques
such as scenarios, discussions, positive reinforcement,
what they call “second chances” or “starting over”,
memorization, opposites, and
acknowledge of positive behavior.

if you were like me,
you’re like
“which one are we gonna tackle first?”.
after reading the sections on love, respect and peaceability,
i chose love.

in order to put in some islamic influence i consult
a very non-user-friendly book:
Moral Teachings of Islam: Prophetic Traditions from al-Adab al-mufrad by Imam al-Bukhari (The Sacred Literature Series)
moral teachings of islam

for instance when talking about love
we can have the girls memorize / familiarize themselves with the following hadith:

Abu Hurayrah quoted the Prophet (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) as saying: “By the One in Whose Hands my life lies, you will not enter Paradise unless you become Muslims, and you will not be come proper Muslims unless you love one another. Make a habit of greeting [each other], and you will love one another. Avoid hatred, for verily it cuts. I am not saying that it cuts hair, but rather it cuts off religion.”

i could see this as a great interfaith effort
with parents of various faiths
with their children of the same age group
getting together once a month
to talk about values.

for now, i’ll do field-testing with my own children:
love! love! love!

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