We are all busy. I know it. If the last year has shown us something, it might be how full our lives were 12 months ago. I know that making time to teach the values family lessons is the hardest part. With school, meals, free play, activities, and work all taking up prominent positions in our kids’ lives it’s hard to find the time engage them in these values lessons. But as our family has made time to teach values, we’ve seen an increase in love, calm, and happiness in our home. Focusing on these principles that matter most really makes a difference.
So, how do we do it?
Read a Book or Watch a Movie
I’ve found that teaching through books and movies is most effective. In fact, my values book list is really popular. As parents, we’re already trying to read to our kids, so adding in some books that teach the values we want them to gain is an easy way to bring these values more deeply into our family culture.
It’s so easy to point out character traits as I watch movies and read books with my kids, as long as I have that goal in mind. I just pause and talk about a character’s choice or a consequence or tell them what I think about a situation. If you want some suggestions for family movie night, check out this list.
Pair it with Something
They say it’s easier to start a new habit when you link it to something you’re already doing. I’ve found that is true when it comes to teaching my kids. One of the best habits we started is reading the Friend magazine at breakfast. This has a huge impact on the attitudes I encounter from my kids throughout the day. I cannot believe the difference it makes when we spend breakfast talking about being like Jesus Christ. We’ve also tried picture scripture books like this and this.
We have made a habit of having a family devotional every night before bed. A simple prayer, a verse of scripture, and a question is often all we get through before our family prayer, teeth brushing, and stories. But over time we are letting our kids know what is important to us. And we occasionally have really meaningful discussions.
I am a big believer in kids enjoying family study time, so I often change the rhythm. We have done everything from scripture videos to children’s scripture books. Here’s a list of the best children’s bibles, if you’re looking for one. We have let our kids take turns reading, act out the stories (respectfully), and sing their favorite children’s hymns. Having this daily study time has been a meaningful part of our family discipleship.
Make it Fun
I’m all about making teaching values simple and fun. If you’re not getting my simple and fun values lessons, you might be missing out. I’m providing newsletter subscribers with simple and fun resources every month. Sign up here.