Teaching values to children is an important part of a parent’s responsibility.
Setting aside one evening each week is one way that families can teach values.
Following are ideas for preparing a family value lesson. A sample lesson using the value of empathy is also included.
Preparing for a Family Value Lesson
1. Set the evening aside well ahead of time. This allows everyone to clear his or her schedule. You may want to pick one night a week or a month and permanently plan it in your schedule.
2. Choose a value to teach. You can choose the value or let your children suggest ideas.
3. Find materials that correspond with the value such as stories and games. Places to search for resources might be:
· Theological lesson manual
· Faith based stories for children
· The Internet
· Children’s magazines
· Educational stores for children
4. Find pictures or coloring pages that illustrate the value and stories you’ve chosen.
5. Make or buy a treat to enjoy at the end.
Family Value Lesson Example
Focusing on one value a week helps you to identify teaching moments throughout the week so you can reinforce that value.
Following is a sample family value lesson using empathy.
Learn how to positively reach out to others (this is covered in the “activities” below)
Whiteboard & markers
Discussion and brainstorm
1. Discuss/brainstorm the words Empathy and Kindness
· What does “empathy” mean?
· What does empathy have to do with kindness?
· Why should we have empathy?
· What are some ways you can show empathy to another person?
· Have you ever hurt another person’s feelings? How did that make you feel? How did it make the other person feel?
2. Divide the family into groups. Ask each group to come up with a specific situation that illustrates empathy. Then, have the group use the same situation but not show empathy. You can role-play these situations in front of each other. As a family, discuss which one was more positive and why. How would they feel if they were the person(s) in this situation?
3. Show or make kindness awards. Tell everyone that during the week or this evening they will be choosing someone in the family to give this award to. The award can have a place to write the name of their nominee. Next, write or tell that person how they showed empathy/kindness and what they learned about empathy/kindness from their nominee.
Teaching values to kids is fun and rewarding. It not only improves your own family but also makes a positive difference in your community and the world.