I mentioned some time back that I was looking for books to help teach values to a child. Since then I found a series by Joy Berry that I thought was pretty good. In fact, I think Joy Berry has written a great series of books that not only help to teach children values, but she also has a series (Good Answers to Tough Questions) that helps parents addresses difficult questions like death, drugs, and divorce – just to name a few.
The book discusses how to teach your children twelve values that the authors deemed universally beneficial. They selected values that were neither culturally or religiously specific so that any parent who read the book might find them appropriate for their own family. The values they cover are:
- Self-Reliance and Potential
- Self-Discipline and Moderation
- Fidelity and Chastity
- Loyalty and Dependability
- Unselfishness and Sensitivity
- Kindness and Friendliness
- Justice and Mercy
Linda and Richard recommend focusing on one value each month. The book offers practical tips for talking to children about each value and activities you can do with your children to help them learn the values. They offer general tips that can be applied to children of all ages and age-specific activities for pre-schoolers, elementary school children and adolescents. You can follow the book in order or you can chose your own order.
This book is a good supplement to the value stories for children because they not only offer you stories that you can share with children that help to illustrate each value, but they also provide specific activities that teach children about the value. I can’t recall where I read it – perhaps it was Tools of the Mind – it was said that young children may be able to point out when another child does something wrong, but they still aren’t able to recognise that they are doing the same thing. So stories might be a good start, but I think something more needs to be done if we want to start driving the message home.