Our Values Show

Dad taught me to value learning

Dad taught me to value learning

Here is an important question to ask ourselves as parents: What behaviors in our children evoke our greatest applause? For example, do we exult when they exhibit integrity as much as when they win a game of sports? Do we rave over quiet acts of kindness as much as we compliment clothes or physical appearance? Do we praise humility and unselfishness as much as we celebrate certificates and awards? Do we respond with swelling pride over their teachable attitudes and hard work as much as we reward final grades? Our children observe with keen eyes those things we value most. They see our eyes light up. We don’t have to say a word. Here is an example. As a young child, I remember distinctly one summer evening being tucked into bed before it was completely dark. In response to my mild protest, my father began explaining the earth’s rotation, raising objects in the air representing earth, sun, and moon. I asked, “Why don’t things fall off the earth when it is upside down?” He gasped with delight—and exclaimed, “Lois, that is an EXCELLENT question! You are really thinking!” I was shocked but absolutely thrilled at his animated response to such a simple question. I recognized that he valued good questions as a reflection of deeper thinking. It gave me confidence to think deeper, wonder more, ask more, as our sweet relationship developed over the years.

  • What things evoke your most enthusiastic response? What values are you teaching this way?

4 thoughts on “Our Values Show

  1. Mary Morgan

    This post will be a favorite of mine. Great lesson and I’m already trying to find ways to apply it with my Grandchildren!

    Reply
    1. Lois Post author

      Wow, that’s a whole new topic–teaching organization to grandchildren! We don’t have quite the leverage as with children, but must try. Maybe the best way to teach grandchildren is to model it. Any ideas? I’m open.

      Reply
  2. maryann

    Dear friends, Your post today helped me think of the lesson my father taught after I made mistakes in judgment. For example, as a new driver, I backed out of the driveway, a little too close to his black shiny fleet side pickup leaving a small crease the length of the truck. I then drove forward emphasizing the crease. His response after saying, “MaryAnn did you have to do it twice?” was, “Did you learn something?” He taught me that the mistake is often worth it if I learned something. I use that response with my grandchildren. Grateful for wonderful fathers. Thanks you guys for your thoughtful inspiring posts.

    Reply
    1. Lois Post author

      Thank you for your response, Mary Ann. The lesson your father taught is a powerful one that translates throughout life. LEARN FROM IT! I’ll remember this.

      Reply

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