It was a refreshing moment when I overheard my 18 year old daughter saying, “My motto is, keep your mind open and your morals set.” I immediately tuned into this discussion of beliefs that these two young ladies had about themselves and their behaviors towards others. For example they would not judge others for doing things they personally have decided not to do.
I started thinking about how we as parents pass down values and morals to our children. Overall, I think it is about our attitudes towards ourselves and to others. If we criticize others we could be planting a judging attitude or negative attitude towards people in general.
If you haven’t thought about the morals you want your children/teens to have it might be time to start.
Find a quiet place– free of distractions to do this assignment.
~ Think about what you want to pass onto your children in terms of right vs. wrong.
~ Write down your morals, your beliefs about yourself and others. Focus on love, empathy, trust and concern for others.
~ Write down what these beliefs would look like when put into action. For instance, let’s say one of your neighbors is struggling with an illness. What needs to be done for them? Mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, pulling weeds, or planting flowers could help your child develop outward thinking rather than “me” thinking.
~ Begin living with intentionality. In other words live your life according to what you have written down. Your children watch how your words are acted out in real life. So, walk the talk.
~ Talk with your children about your beliefs that cause you to act/restrict your actions to yourself or others.
Do not be afraid of upholding your morals. As your children get older you can be a great resource for them as they grapple with their own issues. And don’t be surprised to overhear your child state with authority their personal morals.