It has crossed my mind to talk to my children, especially the older ones, about countervalues. No, I was not wrong, I said 'countervalues' and not 'values'. The fact is that, from my humble opinion, knowing what they are can be of great help to improve the much-needed values. Then I share with you what are the countervalues and why do I think we should talk about them and teach them to children. Would you think I would have gone crazy if I told you that I would like them to learn to use some of these 'anti-values'? I'll give you my reasons right away!
Values, as you well know, are socially accepted norms by which all of us should abide by to live in peace and harmony. There are many values to take into account, for example, tolerance, respect, humility, gratitude, friendship ... and a lot more positive aspects that we want for ourselves and, of course, for our children.
If we talk about the countervalues we must say that it is the opposite of values of before. Simple, right? We then have that the counter-value of humility would be arrogance or pride; of tolerance, intolerance; from gratitude, selfishness; of the truth, the lie; of patience, impatience, and so on with each and every one of the values that you know.
Have you already talked to your children about values and the importance of integrating them into our daily lives? Surely yes. I have also told my children about them, and not only that but I also do everything possible to show that at home these values are basic rules to be followed by everyone.
I have to tell you that I always like to go one step further, so I have decided to talk to my children about countervalues. Why? You will ask yourself. Because if they know what they are and why they are not good they can always avoid them.
We must bear in mind, as detailed in the research work by Noemí Candelaria for the University of La Laguna entitled 'Countervalues and stories in early childhood education', that we must teach children to differentiate between good and evil. Since children do not have as many life experiences as adults, it can be difficult for them to separate what is good (values) from what is not desirable (counter values). In this way, we will be promoting their autonomy and their critical sense to determine what they consider to be positive and what they want to avoid.
To give you an example I will tell you that always I emphasize the importance of sharing and in the little that selfishness contributes to each other. I also make them see the need to use empathy, put themselves in the place of the other and not ignore their feelings. Another thing that I try to make them understand little by little is the basics of being humble and letting go of pride.
I speak to them many times that you have to tell the truth. Of course, more than once and more than two they deliberately lie like the little children they are, especially when it comes time to brush their teeth and they don't feel like, 'Mom, I've already washed them'. 'I dont believe it!' I always answer. My idea is that, despite these little lies, they understand that the truth must go above all and that the lie, the countervalue, is of little or nothing.
Do not judge me, please, if I tell you that there are a number of countervalues that I would like my children to learn. Before reading the reasons that I am going to give you.
1. The counter value of pride
Okay, you have to be humble inside and in the face of others, but is it sometimes good for children to show their pride? I at least think so. A healthy pride that helps them strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence and that comes out especially when they achieve goals such as a good grade on the exam or a goal on their soccer team.
2. Impatience, another countervalue many times necessary
Little ones are impatient by nature. 'Mom, give me water right now, I'm very thirsty.' 'Hurry, I want to get to the park now.' Why stop being impatient? It is part of their character and can be super beneficial to achieve small personal goals like finishing the book or finishing the worksheet.
3. Stubbornness, may it never be lacking!
I associate this countervalue with knowing how to say no. We recently read a book at home in which Paula, a most stubborn hedgehog, got rid of a few things by saying that she was not going to do the same as everyone else, like sleeping on a waterbed or wearing clothes party (anyone does it with so many spikes everywhere). Why does a little stubbornness sometimes come in handy?
4. And the last ... distrust
Now I can only talk to you about mistrust. I want my children to learn to trust themselves and their family and loved ones and I also want them to know that many times it is important to distrust those we do not know, no matter how kind they may be. On the other hand, I would like you to know that mistrust, over time, can give way to trust.
And you? Are you also going to talk to your children about countervalues and all that they mean? Share it with me!
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