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How To Promote Core Family Values

Jun 20, 2008
My family knows that I hold honesty as one of our core family values. I often talk to my kids about family values and why we believe in them. I have always had a rule that if a child confesses to something the consequence will be much less than if they tell a lie to cover it.

But yesterday Sam decided to put me to the test by telling a lie. Now I'm sure it wasn't a lie in his mind. Nevertheless he told me an untruth. He said that he had missed the bus to school sports because his teacher had kept him in at lunch time.

On phoning his teacher I found out the whole story. Yes, he had been kept in at lunch time for a few minutes but he still had plenty of time to catch his bus. He had walked up to the bus stop with a friend and then decided that he would rather go to Basketball than Soccer. So he had taken off without even telling a teacher where he was going.

I felt disappointed that Sam had told me a lie. He had actually come home from school grumping about this poor teacher when in reality it was nothing to do with her. Sam had made bad choices that day and thought it would be easier to blame someone else for his choices rather than accept responsibility for his own actions.

Now, here's the thing: we cannot control what our kids say or do. But And this is where the kids learn to do things differently next time.

When Sam gets home from school today I am going to tell him a story about a child who tried to blame everyone else for his own actions. I want Sam to think about what he would do if he was the parent. Sam is thinking right now that he has done nothing wrong because he is tyring to justify his actions. So I want him to think about how he can change things.

It is often a good idea to create a story out of it and bring the child in as a third party. This way the child doesn't feel like you are attacking them personally. I hope I am explaining this properly for you. When a child doesn't feel threatened they are more likely to hear what you are saying and take notice.

Anyhow, we will talk this afternoon. My objective is to help Sam realise that he must take responsibility for his own actions without trying to blame anyone else for his poor choices and if I can get him to see that, then I have done my job in this matter.

The end result is that Sam will get a consequence this afternoon. I want to show him that he made a bad choice by telling me a lie. I might ban him from the computer for a day or two, just long enough for him to feel annoyed and perhaps think about why he lost a privilege. I want him to feel motivated to change his actions the next time and learn from this incident.

Parents, you have a chance to choose what your family's core values will be. You should talk to your kids about them, encourage them and uphold them at all times. Your kids will thank you later on in life, you can be sure of that. So take time out today to think about your core family values.
About the Author
Kim Patrick is a single mum with four children who lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. She is author of the book, "Get Your Child To Behave In 30 Days Or Less". For more information on how to get your child to behave, you can go to http://www.mychildcanbehave.com/main.html
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