Free Shipping Australia Wide

Instilling Values and Beliefs in Babies and Toddlers

We all want to raise kind humans. We want to instil positive values and nurture their spirit to bring out the best in them.

Being a parent in many ways is like carrying around a mirror and in that mirror is a mini version of yourself. Being a parent gives you an opportunity to reflect on your own behaviours, your words and outlook on life, with an understanding that ultimately your child will become much of what you present to them as their mirror or role model. You may have heard many parents say that they have become better people after becoming a parent. This is because of the self-enquiry and soul searching that often takes place, you want them to be kind, good humans so you draw upon those qualities in yourself. Your child, of course, is an independent person, with their own personality - being more extroverted or introverted and they have their own preferences but, values are learned from their environment.

An article on on ‘How to Teach Values to Babies and Toddlers’ really struck a chord with me because the teaching window does really open that young, they are absorbing everything well before they can articulate anything to you. The article not only highlights the importance of engaging with your baby, that this time is just as critical as feeding and nappy changes, It also offers useful tips on how to introduce values to your baby.

A few points that really resonated with me include: The idea that babies and toddlers are going through major mental developmental leaps that at some point they will test boundaries, that even in these moments it’s important to model a calm response and reinforce the unconditional love you have for them, that during these testing experiences it’s just as important to model the values you would like to see in your child.

Also, that you can instil values through song and story. I am a HUGE believer of this and will carefully read through every book and select those that have positive messages that echo kindness, thoughtfulness, self-love and self-belief - some of the values I really want to see flourish in my daughter. I’m also a fan of, not just singing positive songs that exist but making them up if they don’t. We sing songs about cleaning up, sharing, helping others and loving ourselves.

Self-belief is something that is owned by the individual but can be reinforced by the language and messages heard in the child's environment. One of the most powerful illustrations of this is the story of inventor Thomas Edison's early education, as a child at school, he was deemed difficult and mentally ill, and one day he was given a note to hand to his mother, his mother famously read the note as follows - Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself. - This careful selection of words that reinforced Thomas Edison’s self-belief changed the course of history.

In reality, the letter detailed the difficulties he was having at the school and that he was no longer welcome there. The point is that we become what we are repeatedly told and experience and what is modelled to us.

We as parents are in the privileged position of helping to establish a strong foundation of values for our children, grounding from birth and early childhood and the effects transcending to adulthood. This is instinctive for most and doesn’t require you to read copious amounts of books or attend every seminar on the subject. It’s about spending time with your child understanding that at every moment of their existence they are communicating with you. To take time to understand then plant the seeds of strong values and to nurture them so they too can do the same for their children one day.