Two young boys were walking along a beach when they came across hundreds of starfish that had washed up on shore. One of the boys started picking up the starfish and throwing them back into the ocean, one by one. The other boy asked him why he was bothering since there were so many starfish, and he couldn’t possibly save them all.

The first boy replied, “I know I can’t save them all, but I can make a difference for each one that I do save.”

This story illustrates the value of teaching children the importance of compassion and empathy towards others and how small acts of kindness can make a big difference in the world. By instilling these values in our children, we can help to create a more caring and compassionate society.

At New Life Childcare in Bukit Panjang, we help reinforce values that enable children to make moral choices in a complex and confusing society. Teaching children values helps to shape their character, attitudes, and behaviour as they develop and provides them with a framework for developing morals, a healthy identity, and self-worth.

Parents are the most significant role models for their children, so it is essential to “practise what you preach.” Children observe their parents’ behaviour and learn from them, so it’s crucial to model positive values consistently. Children who grow up with positive role models are often more emotionally stable, confident in interpersonal relationships, and well-equipped to face the challenges of their teenage years and, eventually, adult life.

Here are ten of the most important values to help children build positive social relationships and regulate their emotions effectively.

  1. Respect: Teaching children to respect others, regardless of their age, gender, race, or beliefs, is crucial in building positive relationships with others.
  2. Responsibility: Children must take responsibility for their actions, choices, and decisions and understand the consequences of their actions.
  3. Honesty: Honesty is a fundamental value that helps build trust and integrity in relationships. Children should be encouraged to be truthful, even when it is difficult.
  4. Empathy: Teaching children to put themselves in other people’s shoes and understand their feelings helps to build emotional intelligence and compassion.
  5. Perseverance: Encouraging children to persevere through challenges and setbacks helps them develop resilience and a growth mindset.
  6. Kindness: Promoting kindness and generosity towards others fosters a positive attitude and creates a supportive environment.
  7. Independence: Independence builds confidence and self-reliance. Children learn to take responsibility for their actions, make choices, and solve problems.
  8. Gratitude: Encouraging children to express gratitude for the people and things they have in their lives helps cultivate a positive mindset and a sense of appreciation.
  9. Tolerance: Teaching children to accept and respect others, even if they are different, helps to build a more tolerant and inclusive society.
  10. Love: Above all, showing children love, affection, and emotional support helps them develop a healthy sense of self-worth and secure attachments with others.

Reinforcing positive behaviour by praising and rewarding children when they display positive values can help to deepen their understanding and encourage them to continue demonstrating those values. Similarly, explaining the reason they are being punished for bad behaviour also strengthens children’s moral understanding and motivates them to work towards doing the right thing. You can also help your children articulate their thoughts and feelings about their efforts to embody these values by creating an open and safe environment.

Our Childcare teachers look out for those teachable moments when a child encounters a situation where a value can be demonstrated or learned. Teaching values to children requires a combination of modelling and reinforcing positive behaviour, using real-life examples, and encouraging open communication. We teach values throughout our childcare centres to help our children navigate life’s challenges and make decisions that align with their beliefs and principles. Find out more about the values we impart to children at our centres.