On Teaching Your Kids Values in the 21st Century


In this world in which we live where everything is disposable, from the razors we shave with to the utensils we eat with, it’s becoming fairly difficult to teach your kids values. If you can just throw it away and get a new one, why is it so important? Because of this mentality, it is becoming increasingly difficult to teach kids to value anything at all and even life, itself, doesn’t seem to hold the same value it once did. So then, how do you teach your children to value anything at all?

Religious vs Social Values

According to Dr. Tim Taylor who wrote an article entitled Practical Ways to Teach Values to Your Kids and published in Psychology Today online, the term ‘values’ has taken on what he calls a bad rap because the concept has been painted to be a purely fundamentalist Christian concept but Dr. Taylor disagrees and further feels that we should instill values in our kids from a very young age. His philosophy is stated in three statements which even the most radical of fundamentalists couldn’t contest as a humanistic approach.

Dr. Taylor’s Secular View of Values

In his article Dr. Taylor asserts that, contrary to popular belief and what the media prints day after day, Americans really do have many more values they can agree on than they could ever disagree on. As an aside, Christians view these values as a stricture on right living from God while Dr. Taylor asserts that it is an inherent component of being human to act in ways that are compassionate, loving, responsible and even fair. He believes that ‘right living’ by a code of values is a human trait but Christians look at values as God given and to them values are explained in Psalm 37 KJV where you should do good in order to dwell in the land of the Lord.

Healthy Values Are Good for Your Children

Healthy values, according to Dr. Taylor are the foundation upon which healthy children are raised. This is how kids learn who they are and what they want to be in life. He further ascertains that these values are what enable your children to differentiate what they want to believe out there in the world and what they choose not to believe. By teaching your children values you are preparing them for life in the real world and you will be helping them to live healthy, safe and successful lives as adults.

So then, why is it that the media would have you believe that the word ‘value’ is a dirty word promulgated by fundamentalist Christians trying to ‘control’ your children? Can they not be seen for what they are, a code of living that is inherent in society that enables us to cherish what is beautiful and avoid what is hurtful or bad? By all means, teach your children healthy values whether you approach them from a perspective of faith or humanism. By so doing you are giving them the building blocks of adulthood and a way to enjoy life, knowing they are doing right by others along the way.