Pick Ideas to Rule Your Child's World!
Values become the over-all ideas that rule the world of your children. Values are complex ideas like honesty, and integrity, respect, diligence, spirituality, and more. Values usually require extensive personal definition. Values should be the most important ideas that you share with your kids so they should be the most carefully taught. Remember that you have not taught something to a child until they use it in their own life as a guiding principle to govern their own behavior.
As you go about the process of teaching your values to your children keep Rule 4 in mind: “It doesn’t matter what you say, it is what they say for themselves that counts!”
To teach your values to your children you must use methods and techniques that get your children to “say it for themselves.” You can tell your children to be honest until you are blue in the face, but it will not bring about lasting change in their behavior until they choose to adopt honesty into their personal ideas about themselves. Keep in mind that you are trying to input these important ideas into their heads so that they will use them to make the big decisions in their own lives… so that they become the ideas that will rule their worlds.
A Real Life Example
At this point it might be enlightening to have a real life experience to relate to in order to understand the power of this process. When I was in junior high our YMCA leader, Alden Esping had us go through a process that had a profound effect upon my life. After much possibility thinking, he had each of us make a list that had twenty things that we would most like to DO, BE, or HAVE on it. (If you wouold like more details on guiding you children in this activity, please get one of my books or a set of our DVD curriculum.) Here is just one of the amazing results of this list of the “Top Twenty Things I Wanted to DO, BE, or HAVE” in my life. I still have my list I wrote way back then and I had accomplished 17 of the things on my list by the time I was twenty-three! And I had accomplished all twenty of the original twenty by the time I was thirty-three!
You need to encourage your kids to keep their list a secret and mine is a secret also, but for the sake of demonstration I will share just a couple of the things that I put on my list in the eighth grade and how having those on my list changed my life.
The number one thing on my list was to play football at the University of Washington for the Husky football team. I know, that is pretty shallow but it was where I was at that point in my life.
But, here is a critical point to consider; I had put being drug-free at number five on my list. Now, I met my first drug-pusher in the strangest of places… in the training room at the University of Washington! You see my list had helped me to make that team but all of a sudden I was confronted with a trainer offering me steroids as a way to get bigger. I turned him down because that morning I had just looked at my Top Twenty List and had just viewed my commitment to be drug-free. It was easy to make the decision that day because I had already made it long ago and reaffirmed the decision almost daily every time I looked at my list! When the trainer offered the drug I simply said, “Thanks anyway, but I will either make the team without drugs or I won’t make it; but drugs will not be a part of my training.”
My friend was in the room with me that day and he didn’t have a list to look at. He had not already made a decision about drugs. He went ahead and used the drugs. He got bigger with the steroids and we both made the team but he was probably sterile from about the third dose he took. And now he is dead and doctors are pretty sure that he was killed by complications associated with abuse of steroids back when he was in college!
Values Can Save Your Children's Lives
My list had saved me and allowed me to enjoy a full life. My list allowed me to make a very critical decision with lasting positive consequences for me and for my family.
Would you like your child to have a similar idea in his/her head to use in a similar situation when they meet a drug pusher? Remember that Drug Pushers come in many disguises. Mine was disguised as a trainer. Your kid’s pusher may come disguised as a friend, as a big brother, as a coach.
Start teaching values to your children today!