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As I read some very negative headlines just now, I thought to myself, what a challenge it must be today for parents, to have to education their children about ALL that they see and hear on the news in these times.
And then I was reminded how POWERFUL it is to use real-life situations to teach values. I did this often with my children.
Although this scene didn't happen in my home, if it had I would have used it to educate my children about taking care of the home and the appropriate place for drawing.
In addition, I would have had them help with the removal of the art work from the walls...and the cleaning or re-painting of the area.
Joshua's Heart Foundation is a non-profit organization which today has 10,000 youth volunteers and 4,000 adult volunteers who help to feed the homeless.
AND this foundation got its start when Joshua, at 4 years of age saw a homeless man on the street and asked his mother about him. Joshua insisted on giving the man the $ 20 he had just received for his birthday.
As I hear news clips and read the headlines at times, I often see individuals in public office speaking unkindly and thoughtlessly in very public ways...and in very importance settings and regarding very sensitive issues. If a child overhears or sees such incidents, they can be used to teach values.
I learned years ago, that making a Big Deal over just ONE situation, can be life changing for children. Thus, you do not have to fully discuss every thing a child hears or sees, but just take time to fully discuss it ONCE will make a huge difference.
Teaching children about KINDNESS and allowing them to act out ways of being kind, will deeply teach children how to actually act in kind ways in daily life. Once a value is taught and you and your children see real life examples of how someone is acting in an unkind manner, they can be pointed out! Also, if your children have a certain maturity, you can also have them act out the opposite of a good value. Children enjoy this...and it also is a powerful teaching tool.
In addition, involving children in a service project can be a powerful learning experience for a child. Helping the homeless, volunteering at an animal shelter or helping to clean up trash along a river all serve to introduce children to values in action.
If you want to get started with a values program for your family or classroom, visit us at: www.TheABCsOfLiving.com for Values Based Bookmarks and Teachings.