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Be a Great Mum: What are your parenting values?
by Judy Reith
Our values constantly drive our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. As parents, values create a moral code for us based on how we want to bring up our children. This informs how to behave towards our children and make decisions about what we believe is right or wrong. We might think its important to be kind, to be fair or loving. They come from how we were brought up, and it is amazing how powerful our parents’ values still feature when it comes to raising our own family. Add to that your partner’s values and it’s easy to see why a clash of values in families causes conflict. You might think honesty is essential, and perhaps your partner is happy with the occasional ‘white lie’. If you can, agree with your partner what are the absolute core values you want to stand for as parents. They need to really matter to you – if they don’t, your children won’t believe it’s worth living up to these principles. It’s not just about saying them; your words need to match your actions. There is not much point in lecturing your children about the importance of honesty or punctuality if they witness you lying or being late. When our values are challenged it can be very hard to stay calm and rational. When our values are respected, we find it much easier to be the kind of parent we want our children to have. The kind of parent that will enable our children to make their own wise judgements and be able to cope with what life throws at them.
Judy Reith. www.parentingpeople.co.uk
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© Hodder Education 2010
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