Teaching Values to a Child

After Gavin’s incident with the book, I have been actively speaking to his teachers about his behaviour to determine what I can do to help correct it.  The teachers that knew him from before – his Heguru sensei and his Kinderland teachers – all remarked that they felt Gavin is actually a very well behaved child.  They all felt that his recent change in behaviour is due to some internal turmoil that he has been going through. In the world of a child, what could be bigger than the arrival of a baby brother?  Especially when he has been the only child around for nearly three years?

The teachers also commented that although Gavin was intellectually advanced for his age, emotionally, he is still only three.  Because of this, it is easy to make the mistake of treating Gavin as if he was an older child and to expect more from him than is fair.  The similar consensus between Gavin’s Kinderland teachers and his Heguru sensei has been very reassuring.

Moving on from here, what can I do?

One of the things that Gavin’s Heguru sensei suggested was to read stories about values to Gavin.  I have a book on Aesop’s fables, I don’t really think those are the sort of stories she meant.  She was referring more to stories about children loving their siblings, listening to their parents and teachers, etc.  I’ve been trying to find books like that but I haven’t a clue where to start.  The only books of a similar nature that I can recall is a series that I remember reading from my school library back when I was in primary school.

They were called Value Tales.  It was a series of 43 stories that covered values like determination, honesty, kindness, dedication, etc.  Each story was loosely based on the life of a historical character who modeled that value in their life.  For instance, the value of honesty was about Confucius, and the value of determination was about Helen Keller.

Here is the list of the entire series:

  1. adventure
  2. facing a challenge
  3. saving
  4. imagination
  5. foresight
  6. kindness
  7. creativity
  8. boldness
  9. positive attitude
  10. understanding
  11. dedication
  12. leadership
  13. charity
  14. courage
  15. believing in yourself
  16. determination
  17. helping
  18. respect
  19. friendship
  20. fairness
  21. giving
  22. humility
  23. patience
  24. honesty
  25. tenacity
  26. love
  27. discipline
  28. responsibility
  29. curiosity
  30. caring
  31. overcoming adversity
  32. dignity
  33. sharing
  34. humour
  35. conviction
  36. compassion
  37. commitment
  38. optimism
  39. fantasy
  40. truth and trust
  41. learning
  42. laughter
  43. imagination

I remembered enjoying the stories as a child and thought it would be a great series to collect for the boys.  Unfortunately, I have discovered that they are no longer in print, although you can still find some copies around.  The good news is that they are being reprinted.  The first book, which contains the following stories, will be available for purchase in October 2010 (but you can pre-order from Amazon for $13.59):

  • THE VALUE OF HELPING Harriet Tubman
  • THE VALUE OF HUMOR Will Rogers

I’m not sure when the other stories will be reprinted, though.  What a shame.  I really wish I could get my hands on a copy of the entire series.  The only other book of stories I can find which might also be useful for teaching values is Chicken Soup for the Child’s Soul.  It covers stories on:

  • Thinking of others
  • Being a team player
  • Being responsible
  • Making good choices
  • Making and accepting changes
  • Learning to forgive
  • Sharing and giving
  • Looking on the bright side

Do you know of any good books with stories for teaching values to children?  Please share them in the comments below.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

2 thoughts on “Teaching Values to a Child

  1. Hi Shen-li

    I am part of a Spanish internet forum that has recently done a special action with “books on values”. I wasn´t part of the team but I will find out for you if they did anything in other languages than Spanish. Thanks for your product review on Logica yesterday. I am actually German so should you ever need a translations on the website of either logica, Lük, Ravensburger, Haba etc., please contact me!

    My warmest regards


    1. Thanks Isa, I would really appreciate that.

      I really like the idea behind the Logico product. It’s very clever. Do you know of any other products like that?


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