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Establish the right values

Establish the right values in your child, right from the start

Every interaction with your child provides you with an opportunity to teach values. So look out for the following as you try to inculcate some good values in your young ones.

1. Daily interactions. When we think about teaching values to kids, we often think about taking them to places of worship, teaching them about sharing or encouraging them to give during the holiday season. We may also impart lessons when we speak, meaning remember your 'Please' and 'Thank You' when asking them to do something.

2. Our examples. Children usually tend to pick up habits from adults and older siblings and follow them. For example, if you would like your child to love the earth, teach him how to recycle by separating the rubbish accordingly.

3. The way we do things as a family. Have family get-togethers at least once a week where you sit and talk about the things you like about your family, play games, sing songs or maybe even do some arts and crafts. These activities tell your children that family is a priority.

4. Exposure to the larger world. Through friends, extended family, books, TV and the experiences they have in their community, children absorb values and societal norms. So be selective about the TV programmes and books your children watch and read.

5. Our explanations of the world. We can't always control our child's environment. We may choose to visit a specific grocery store, but we can't control who's going to be in the grocery store. Our children may witness or hear things we wish they hadn't seen or heard. But the fact that we are with them or that they can come home and tell us about it, gives us a chance to share our perspective on what happened.

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