By GILBERT MBEWE
With so much happening in our society today, it is important that parents instill good values in their children.
The truth is that if parents don’t accept this responsibility, then the void in their children may be filled by negative forces in our society that do not support healthy morals. Parents should take up the responsibility to instill good values in their children.
In fact the bible encourages parents, to train children in the way they should go, and when they grow old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). Parents have a responsibility of training their children in good values failure to do that their children will be influenced by all sort of negative things in our society.
This can only be done when parents are aware of their values. The more aware parents are of their own values, the clearer they will be in expressing them and communicating them to their children.
For a better understanding of the subject, it is cardinal to define the word values. I will cite Ashok Gulla’s definition of values as I find it to be important in relation to this subject.
Ashok states that “Values describe the personal qualities we choose to embody to guide our actions; the sort of person we want to be; the manner in which we treat ourselves and others, and our interaction with the world around us”.
From this definition I can say that values in a narrow sense are that which is good, desirable, or worthwhile, or we can say that values are fundamental beliefs that guide or motivate our attitudes or actions.
Family values are essential to a person as they are indispensable for a family. Like I have said family values are concerned with our attitude, actions, and the choice of our actions. They evaluate our actions, and the motives that underlie them. They determine that which is good, desirable or worthwhile to be pursued, and which shouldn’t. They guide our behavior in all aspect of our life, including our home life, our work life and our social life.
What I find interesting about values is that they guide us the manner in which we treat ourselves, others and our interaction with the world around us. Above all family values give us a sense of belonging and identity.
Lack of family values can lead to all sorts of problems, namely a lack of identity, which can often lead to anxiety, depression and low self-worth in later life. But not to get too downbeat, these problems can easily be avoided by instilling family values in the consciousness of our children.
Up to this point I still believe that if good family values are instilled in our children, some of the vices we’re seen today would not be there. Imagine if courage is instilled in our children.
Those who value courage are willing to stand up for what they believe, even in the face of strong condemnation.
So this would mean that no matter the pressure our children will not bow to something that is wrong, they will defend the truth.
Another example I can give is honesty, which I will discuss a later on its own. A person who values honesty might blow the whistle on any wrongdoing in society by whoever has done it; they will not remain silent if they have seen something wrong. This does not mean they are not loyal to their community.
The honest person believes that there are limits to loyalty and keeping quiet about a wrongful act out of loyalty might harm others. Such values if they are instilled in our children from a young age would have helped fight vices such as corruption. I think corruption is a crime of dishonesty which can be fought and won through instilling the value of honesty and courage.
Family Values are very important in parenting since they deeply influence all behaviors and attitudes and effect our decisions and relationship.
But for a value to be truly your own, you must act on it and your behavior must reflect it, not just verbally accept it. I’m a proponent of family having values and I hold a strong view that family values can help us and our children to be of excellent character if we practice them. We become virtuous by being virtuous.
I believe what’s missing in society today are good family values that all people should strive to achieve, such as honesty, prudence, love, compassion, respect, courage and personal responsibility and many more. These are values to be admired and illustrative of a person of integrity. I will discuss some of these values in my subsequent articles.