Principles and values are very important in a family’s life and influence a child’s growth and his adulthood, reason why it is important to instate them soon. After all, these are the core rules after which families are working and all members should abide to them. Even if there are multiple strategies to teach a child about the values of his family, I will restrain myself on the one based on storytelling.
Storytelling is a powerful tool on one side, and a non-aggressive one on the other side, so it’s great to use with kids, who can’t really fit patterns or work around rules and strict boundaries. As a parent, you need to communicate continuously with your child and to make sure the dialogue is understood by both sides. Don’t leave things unsaid and don’t leave things misunderstood, as these may turn into problems in the future. Learn not only to talk to your child, but also to listen to him. He has many needs, but one of them, which is also very important, is to be listened. And not only when he talks about food or clothes, but when he’s expressing his feelings.
Learn to “read” your child through what he says, what he shows, and also what he tries to hide. Once you know his “modus operandi”, which you can only learn in time, you’ll be able to shape his experiences through dialogue because you’ll know how to convey the messages you send him. And this way you’ll experience the power of storytelling in one of the most personal relationships you’ll ever have – the one you need to grow and nurture with your child.
At the age when they fully trust their parents and they still see them as some sort of gods, kids react great to words, and mostly to kind words and good stories. So “dress” any principle you’d want him to adopt in a story concerning him and your family and he’ll easily adhere to it. No need for strict rules, for bans or other fierce systems. Choose a smooth way and a caring method.
It’s important to talk to your child from day one. He may not understand you then, but he’ll get used to your voice, to its tone and to your closeness. And this way you’ll form a natural and indestructible bond through which you’ll be able to shape his own principles, which will guide him all his life.