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Values to Teach Your Kids 101: The Essential Guide

Teach them by the age of five.

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

As a parent, you will teach your child about values slowly over time. It is essential to teach them how to behave before their classmates do as well. You have the authority to teach them how to behave in even the most difficult of situations. It will help them grow into good adults that always strive for patience and kindness.

What the family does on a day-to-day basis gives the child an understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable. There are many ways that parents can teach children about values and manners. Children always learn what is best for them from the example set by the family. Children are more likely to imitate you and learn from your actions.

Many parents think that teaching children about values and manners is complex and challenging to do, but it’s not. In general, teaching values involves giving your child boundaries that they must respect. You will teach your children about values through routines that you do daily. For example, eating dinner together as a family will give children a sense of how to behave around others. It is crucial to have patience because dinner time may be the most dreaded time of day for your little one and can lead to temper tantrums.

In this article, I have listed five values and the age that you should begin to teach them to your child. Be sure to start at an early age and teach them one at a time.


The best way to encourage honesty is to practice your honesty. A child will learn honesty as they watch you be honest with each other. Your child takes his cues from you. Honesty is crucial to any relationship because, without honesty, you cannot trust the other person. It is essential to explain why honesty is important in life. You have to explain why it’s not okay to tell lies. You must give small children clear examples of what honesty means.

For developing a truthful disposition in a child, parents should not criticize or punish a child for unknowingly made mistakes. Children can learn from their mistakes. You should not punish your child unless it is essential. Punishing keeps the child from learning how to cope with mistakes and, in doing so, teaches him that lying and hiding are okay. You should not punish him for an honest mistake because lying accomplishes nothing, but punishment is against the family’s best interest.

With young children, particularly toddlers, lying can become a habit. You should take the time to explain that lying is wrong. When it comes to honesty, parents need to be extremely honest with children about their limits when it comes to consequences. This will set boundaries that children understand and respect.


Accountability for one’s actions is a crucial value to teach to children. You should be responsible for your actions, whether good or bad. Children learn this value through clear and consistent consequences for unacceptable behaviour. Parents should reward good behaviour with positive reinforcement, such as praise or notes for good work at school, rather than rewards like money or toys. Parents who discipline their children accurately set an example for the child and teach them they are responsible for their behaviour.

Parents should be consistent with their discipline; children don’t want to know that something is acceptable one day but not the next. Accountability finds roots in the parent-child relationship, but its actual test began when the child got his/her own life beyond the parental home.

Toddlers and young children cannot fully understand what it means to be accountable for their words and actions. When they have hurt another person, it’s beneficial to talk about how their actions made the other person feel. Parents can also encourage young children to be accountable by acknowledging their feelings, apologizing for mistakes, thanking people, or assessing how things could have been done better.

What is more important than instilling this value in a child is making sure they are doing it themselves. Concepts like moral reasoning or what to do when there’s a problem may be hard for them to grasp. Parents can give them the tools to do it and guide them on what is expected of them. As they get older, they will understand how actions affect others and themselves, learning accountability.

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Many parents can attest that curiosity is a big motivator for their children. It’s what let them discover more about the world, find alternatives to situations and learn new things. Encouraging curiosity in children will make them value learning and asking questions. It’s vital in developing a child’s brain.

Children need to use their curiosity to further their knowledge to avoid discrepancies between what they know and what they think they know. The feeling of satisfaction and happiness about new knowledge can also help improve a child’s self-esteem. Anything from asking for information about homework to asking how things work can spark their interest.

Don’t feel you have to have the answers to everything. It’s okay to admit you don’t know something, but encourage them to figure it out themselves. You can join them in discovery and together explore new things. Both you and your child can learn a lot from each other, and it may be a way to build trust, respect, and communication.

Suppose we can drop for just a moment the feeling that we as parents must provide constant stimulation and entertainment to our children. In that case, we might recognize that they have the potential to be self-contained little beings with their ideas, interests, and opinions.

We don’t have to instill in them a sense of wonder or curiosity. They already have it! Our job is to encourage them and support their way of learning.

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The ability for a child to understand and connect with the feelings and needs of others is a critical life skill. Being empathetic means that one can understand the feelings of another while being able to find solutions and see options to any problem. It also teaches children how to behave around others and healthily relate with them.

This promotes good self-esteem and confidence. Empathy can be learned by simply experiencing the feelings and emotions of others and connecting with their emotions through words.

Children who are nurtured and loved to express their feelings have vital emotional intelligence. Addressing this skill at an early age will help children become more emotionally mature, and they will grow into people who can respond to others’ feelings with compassion and understanding.

Playtime can be a valuable opportunity for parents to help children to develop their empathy and emotional intelligence skills. Beyond building relationships with others, this value also helps them become more thoughtful and responsible adults.

With open emotional communication, parents teach children to be respectful of the feelings of others. It also teaches them to accept other people’s differences and that there is nothing wrong with these differences. As a result, it promotes positive relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.

One way to model empathy is through “bouncing” which is when parents ask their child questions instead of constantly responding with their perspective. The child will then have the opportunity to find his or her answer, which will create an open, honest environment with the parent. By modeling this manner of communication, children will be more likely to adopt this method later on in life.

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For many, the concept of determination is still foreign in their minds. This is one of the most intricate skills to teach, as it requires a person to persevere through negative feelings and obstacles. One must be able to decide to press on and move forward when perseverance is required for success.

It requires self-discipline and the ability to set goals that can be achieved through perseverance and hard work. It teaches children valuable lessons about effort, courage, determination, confidence, and self-esteem.

In reality, they will learn how to find the strength inside themselves to overcome challenges and persist in the face of adversity. This is one of the greatest values children can learn, as it helps them become strong and independent adults.

If you do everything in your power to raise your children in the best possible way, likely, you have already begun to instill many of these values. Determination thrives in the wake of acknowledging failures and in the face of overcoming such challenges. As you encourage them to make decisions and take action towards their goals, they will quickly understand what works for them. Teach them how to solve their problems, and they will grow to understand how to deal with any challenges that may come their way.

While determination is built out of failure, your children need to know that you are always there for them. Not every effort deserves ample praise, but everyone deserves a little encouragement to keep on trying.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, teaching your children about the motivation behind actions and rewards can help them understand they get what they want if they will work for it. If you teach your child that only certain things are earned, they will feel more motivated to earn them. As a parent or teacher, it is essential to remember that it is never too late to begin a new tradition. It just takes a little effort, persistence, and a change in perspective for something new to become old school.

I hope this article was helpful and that you will use it to teach your child better these values.



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I am a writer on self-development and psychology. I love to share my thoughts and advice in life.