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Your Children, Your Values, Talking to Your Children

I want my children to represent and also to stand up for the values they believe are important. So, that requires me to do the same. Many of my values pertain to how I treat myself, how I treat others and wish to be treated by others, and how I relate to the world around me.  Therefore, I must model these values/beliefs in my relationship with my children as well as in the way I raise them and attempt to guide them.

When we learn/observe that our children are being exposed to ideas, beliefs and behavior that are contrary to our values (and beliefs) we have no choice but to talk to them about these discrepancies. As a result, your children interpret not talking to them as tacit approval of these expressed and/or exhibited values, beliefs, behaviors.

I believe that children (all humans, for that matter) will do whatever they like when it comes right down to the moment of taking (or not taking) action. With that in mind, our first responsibility to our children is to equip them with the necessary tools to live through the decisions and courses of action (or inaction) they choose to take. Our second responsibility is to attempt to influence the decisions made and courses of action (or inaction) taken by our children. Talking to them about what you believe is wrong and right provides a powerful means of influencing these choices.

The introduction to my book, Parents Guide to Parenting Teenagers Because I Said So! includes and emphasizes what I’ve written above. Donald Trump’s speech on July 24 to the Boy Scouts at their Jamboree prompts me to write this article now. My interest in providing you with tools to meet the responsibilities mentioned above [to equip our children with the necessary tools to live through the decisions and courses of action (or inaction) they choose to take; to attempt to influence the decisions made and courses of action (or inaction) taken by our children] regarding this speech led me to this interview with Dr. Ava Siegler, a practicing child psychologist and former director of the Institute for Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies in New York City. In addition, she has written a monthly column on parenting for Child magazine, and is the author of What Should I Tell the Kids? and The Essential Guide to the New Adolescence. Dr. Siegler also wrote the introduction to How Do I Explain this to My Children? I encourage you to read both.

 

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