There are five values that all children should develop by their fifth birthday, and some ways to make them stick.
Those values are: Honesty; Justice; Determination; Consideration; and Love. I will address each one in a separate blog, so look for all five blogs.
Today we will explore the fourth of these values, Consideration.
Value #4: Consideration – Teach Them to Think about Others’ Feelings.
Anne was frustrated because her daughters, ages 3 and 4, ended up whining and fighting every time she took them grocery shopping. “I finally told them that we needed to figure out how to do our shopping without everyone, including me, feeling upset,” Anne says.
Mom asked the girls for suggestions on how to make the trip to the grocery store a better experience for all. The 4-year-old suggested that they bring snacks from home so they wouldn’t nag for cookies. The 3-year-old said she would sing quietly to herself so she would feel happy.
The girls remembered their promises, and the next trip to the supermarket went much more smoothly. Leaving the store, the younger girl asked, “Do you feel really upset now, Mommy?” The mother assured her that she felt just fine and remarked how nice it was that nobody got into an argument.
Do these small problem-solving exercises actually help a child learn the value of consideration? You bet. Over time, even a young child sees that words or actions can make another person smile or feel better, and that when she’s kind to someone else, that person is nice to her. This feedback encourages other genuine acts of consideration.
Having a child is a great gift – but also a big responsibility. Give some of these suggestions a try. You may be pleasantly surprised!
Adapted from an article in Parents Magazine.
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