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Aleteia

The one quality all happy children share

FAMILY
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They're not born with it, but it's something all parents can teach.

The way your son or daughter will think and act throughout their life is formed in their early childhood years, through values-driven education and examples set at home. This is the best time to forge your children’s future values and foster their happiness and security, so consider these points when sowing seeds in infancy:

Education begins at home

Family education stimulates your children’s intellectual and emotional abilities. They learn to manage their values and emotions at home.

Teach by example

Children learn mostly by imitation. The strength of their principles is rooted in the coherence between what you say at home and what your children see you do in your daily life.

Learn how to listen to your children, while still being able to say “no”

Listening requires dedicating time to them, and showing love. Empathy is the basis for building a parent-child relationship. At the same time, children need to be oriented and guided in order to guarantee healthy growth in every sense of the word. Knowing how to say “no” when their behavior is inappropriate is a healthy foundation for them to learn how to handle frustration and to solidify their essential values.

Healthy pedagogy requires keeping calm

Doing so helps us to appreciate the little things, to see our children’s behavior from the perspective of progress and optimism, even when they make mistakes. There is always a second chance. Fathers and mothers need time to transmit to their children not only knowledge and practical abilities, but also all their love and affection.

Here are some guidelines for effectively sowing values in children:

  1. A healthy personality can only be built through dialogue. Your children’s serenity and happiness depends on an environment of affection and openness towards them.
  2. Values are learned by imitation. The best way to educate is to stimulate and reward good behavior.
  3. Dedicate a moment sometime during the week, or whenever you can, to reflect with your spouse and perform a self-evaluation about how you are passing on your values within the family.
  4. Distinguish between what is essential and what is superficial when defining norms of behavior for your children inside and outside the home. Above all, emphasize the truly essential principles and values for your children’s lives.

Teaching, educating, and forming your children is the best way to set them on the path to maturing autonomously, with responsibility and respect towards themselves and others. Most importantly, it is the most effective way to guarantee that they will have a tranquil and happy life, at peace with themselves.

Children who are educated in values are the best guarantee of a happier future society.

This article was originally published in the Spanish edition of Aleteia and has been translated and adapted here for English-speaking readers.

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