Family Magazine

Teach Your Children Values by Reading to Them

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum


Teach Your Children Values by Reading to Them



Children learn by example, and at an early age, there is only so much they can understand in the adult world around them. By reading them stories that they can understand that involve characters they can relate to, children can learn values that they would not be able to learn otherwise. While the child sees the story as just a fun adventure, hidden in the tale is a value that our society holds to be true, and the child is learning it without even realizing it. This is yet another reason that reading to your children is so important; stories build a value base in a child that they can use do determine what is right and wrong when they are faced with important moral decisions later on.


Stories and fables serve many functions beyond just entertaining those who read them. Stores carry in them many ideas and concepts about how our society and culture function and the expectations we have of its members. Stories are able to convey these things in a way that simply stating them cannot do. You can tell your child to share his toys with other children, but this will not have the impact that reading him a story about sharing will. This is because in a story about sharing, the child will identify with the character that learns the benefits of sharing during the tale and internalize the message without even realizing it. This process works so well, societies have been using stories to convey their norms, values, and expected behaviors for thousands of years. These stories lay the ground work for building relationships, social interactions, and ethical standards in our children. Examining the themes of children’s books will what values a society holds.


Here are some of the typical values hidden in our children’s books:


  • Hard work is commendable and is often rewarded
  • Helping others is more rewarding that being selfish
  • Teamwork can accomplish much more than individual efforts
  • Your attitude has a great effect on how you perceive the world
  • It is okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them
  • Although people can look and act very differently, we are all equal
  • Doing the right thing is preferable even when it is the harder path
  • Sharing with others is preferable to hoarding


Children’s books often present a more black and white version of the world than it really is. However, these base values of working hard, helping others, having a positive attitude, and so on will give children some great tools for dealing with the gray areas of life. Your children will eventually learn that cheaters sometimes get ahead and that people do not always treat each other with kindness. But by this time, they will be strong enough in their convictions to make the right decisions even when they see others benefiting from making the wrong ones.


Reading stories with good values to your children will help them to form an understanding of right and wrong that will help them navigate this complicated world even when you are not there to help them. It will teach them that doing the right thing is its own reward, and that while good does not always win, it is still better than doing wrong and winning.


By: Zach Ball is an online publisher and children’s book enthusiast for http://www.childrensbookstorecom></a> and writes articles on the topics of reading and parenting.

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