Dec 23, 2009

Can't I Teach My Values?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in P.E.T., for most parents have a strong need to transmit their most cherished values to their offspring. Our answer is: "Of course--not only can you teach your values but inevitably you will." Parents cannot help but teach kids their values, simply because children are bound to learn their parents' values by observing what their mothers and fathers do, and hearing what they say.


Parents, like many other adults with whom children will come into contact as they grow up, will be models for them. Parents are continuously modeling for their offspring--demonstrating by their actions, even louder than by their words, what they value or believe.

Parents can teach their values by actually living them. If they want their children to value honesty, parents must daily demonstrate their own honesty. If they want their children to value generosity, they must behave generously. If they want their children to adopt "Christian" values, they must behave like Christians themselves. This is the best way, perhaps the only way, for parents to "teach" children their values.

"Do as I say, not as I do" is not an effective approach in teaching kids their parents' values. "Do as I do," however, may have a high probability of modifying or influencing a child.

*Excerpt from Dr. Thomas Gordon's P.E.T. book

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