Feb 22, 2012

Sound values for a healthy family life

This is a subject that has such breadth you don’t know where to start. Practicing good sound values, however, should start with the family and at home. One can be judged by one’s company; so one can be by one’s family. Sound values are ideals we live by and which take us through life. To be without values is to have no moral compass. Charity starts at home and so must everything else. You must have God in your life; that is the first thing. When you have God in your life you are more apt to have respect for your elders, you will have something to believe in, you will have guidance and support if you seek it.

Here are some values to live by

·                    Compassion for others. Not everyone is as fortunate as you are. Some people complain about beggars and people asking you for things on the street. Give what you can. Buy someone a lunch. Give the vagrant on the corner two dollars. Don’t question what he will do with the money; give it unconditionally. 

·                    Respect for your elders. Have respect for the people at home and for people in positions of authority. Also have respect for those close to you, at school, and for whatever friends you may have. Having respect costs nothing and just helping someone carry her groceries or helping her out of the car, is a good deed. 

·                    Be honest. Start your children on the right path by telling them to always tell the truth, even if what you have to say is going to land them in trouble. Your parents will 

·                    Be generous. Not only with material goods, but with your time. It is harder for some people to give of their time, but it will mean a lot. Giving of your time could include giving someone a lift, taking a friend to the hospital, staying with someone at the accident scene to comfort the person; one can be generous in many ways.

·                    Forgiving your enemy. You know what Jesus said in the Bible about this. Don’t carry a stone in your heart forever because someone has harmed you. You will feel lighter having forgiven the person and you will be rid of dead weight.

·                    Give more than you ask for. You will get double in return. In fact, don’t expect anything when someone has helped you. Be responsible in your dealings with people and do not begrudge them anything.


How to instil discipline in your child

There is no set time for disciplining a child and some children are so well-behaved that they hardly get disciplined. Really, though, discipline starts when the child acts out of the norm, throws a tantrum, shouts back at you, and you have to take control or the child will think that he can manipulate you for whatever he wants. There is a difference between that kind of discipline and discipline where you just correct behaviour by ‘showing’ and no harsh tone need be employed. Still, children know instinctively that there are rules and know when they are being chastised.

The child’s retreat

A child know when he has misbehaved, even as a two-year-old, and is old enough when his parent calls a time-out because he is shouting at the top of his lungs or throwing his things around. A time-out is a gentle way to calm down a recalcitrant toddler. He understands what is happening, and in time settles down in his room. His room is his sanctuary and it is a place where he can retreat to. This is his space. It is where he has his bath and is being changed. He also learns independence right from the start. 

Mistakes parents make disciplining a toddler

1                    A child sleeping in his own crib learns independence from the start. Sleeping with his parents will create problems later on when he can’t fall asleep without his mother or father in bed, or without the light on, or he is scared of ghosts. It leads to co-dependency. However, this does not mean that there are not special occasions to crowd into your parents’ bed. Bonding is important and should be exercised on a regular basis. 

2                    Do not change the rules once you have made them. If you call a time-out, don’t give in to his charm or screaming to let him sit with the other children in front of the television.

3                    If he does not listen to you, take him physically to his room. If he comes out, put him back. Just because he is screaming and throwing a tantrum does not mean you must give in. Toddlers can be manipulative.

4                    Don’t shout and scream yourself. They turn on the tears or suddenly become charming to get what they want. Speak nicely and let the child know who is in charge. 

5                    Do not bribe a child; he will hold you hostage. If you resort to bribery he will know that you are not a person with conviction and will sense that you are weak. Be loving and caring, but show him who is the boss.

Discipline with love

Once your infant has been fed and changed, put him back in the crib. He will soon fall asleep. Remember, teaching him right at the beginning of his life how to behave will go a long way towards his future. Play with your child; it is very important. Read to your child. Have a story hour before he goes to bed. Then put him in his room.