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Lesson 7
Teaching Your Values to Your Kids

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Objectives:
  • Parents will begin to see and understand that obedience is a very dangerous goal to seek as they attempt to alter their children's behavior. Obedience is desirable only when associated with sound application of morals values and ethics in the decision making process. Children who are blindly obedient learn that decisions are made outside of their decision making skills and processes and that becomes very dangerous when the “outside voice” is telling them to do something illegal, immoral, or life threatening!
     
  • Parents will further explore the concept of discipline in working with kids; hopefully realizing there is really only one kind of discipline and that is self-discipline. Parents will learn that the process of parenting must involve progressively turning more and more authority for bigger and bigger decisions to their children.
     
  • Parents will learn to identify their goals in working with their kids so that those goals can direct their strategy. If their goal is for their children to be able to make great decisions for themselves, then those children must be given opportunities to make big decisions!
     
  • Parents will begin to develop their own strategies for working with their own children and will begin to have confidence in their own abilities as effective parents. These strategies must involve guiding their children in making decisions based upon sound ideas (values, morals, ethics, religious beliefs, laws, manners, social customs, etc.) that the parents have selected and taught to their children.
     
  • Parents will understand that "quality time" is a hoax! There is time… period.   In order to be effective parents, we must give a child a lot of time. Much of this time will be spent simply developing a relationship but some of the time will be spent in identifying key ideas that the parents have chosen to “rule the worlds” of their children!
Key Concepts:
  • The ideas in our kid's heads will rule their world… Therefore, as parents work with their children, they must aim at influencing the selection of those ideas that the parents and children select to rule their world
     
  • Parenting done in the manner advocated here will require lots of time. If parents are willing to spend time, they will experience amazing success in guiding heir children in making great decisions for themselves! Children raised in this manner will become progressively more and more confident in making big decisions for themselves so that as they reach maturity they will be empowered to make their own great decisions!
Activities:
  • Parents should have their children begin a list of possible opportunities. This list should include anything that they can DO, BE, or HAVE. It is strongly advised that this list should be associated with some real ceremony indicating that this a "Rite of Passage into Maturity." A very nice notebook should be made or purchased for keeping this record of possibility thinking and the notebook should be presented at an appropriately significant time and place.
     
  • Parents should then make a daily exercise of sitting down with their children to help them input new entries into this notebook. This “Possibilities List” should be "all inclusive" containing not only positive opportunities, but also negative opportunities. This acknowledges the real and unavoidable fact that good decisions almost always involve looking at all possibilities, eliminating bad choices, and then selecting the best positive choices based upon sound ideas!
     
  • After this list has grown to five or six pages of possibilities, the parent then must challenge the child to take on the very difficult task of selecting their own "Top Twenty" list of most desirable ideas that will become the possibilities for their own life; the list of the twenty things they would most like to DO, BE, or HAVE in their in their own life! It is important at this point to insist the child keep this "Top Twenty List" private. They must select the ideas on their own list completely for themselves. The minute they share the list, it will change. (Remember Rule 4: "It doesn't matter what you say, it is what they say to themselves that counts!) Parents may always suggest things to include on the list, but their suggestions should remain just that: suggestions!
     
  • Parents should begin this process at as early an age as possible. Certainly, the process could begin as soon as a child can write. However if the child is already fifteen or eighteen, it is never too late. As a matter of fact, if parents have never done this, it would be very worthwhile for the parents to do this process right along with the child. It would not hurt most parents to have a very clear picture of the twenty most important ideas in their own lives!
     
  • While doing this exercise, parents should acknowledge that this is a very time consuming assignment! However, this process is absolutely worth the time invested. Parents who expend this time will never be sorry! Good things come from big commitments.

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