Providing your kids with the values that can help them transform
and educators are always trying to spark student
participation whether it’s in the classroom, in the local community, or
throughout the world. So, that’s why middle-school students at one private
school were asked what they could do to improve their country. They focused on
what they understood— bullying, violence, and racism.
Those problems are all rooted in the same
issues, says Rachel Albert, author of Quest to Telos, a young adult
novel where fantasy meets reality and even world peace is possible.
“They stem from a lack of personal integrity
and absence of social responsibility,” she says.
“Children who choose to put those values
into practice are actively working toward peace. But they can only put into
practice what they’ve learned; instilling those values may seem simple, but
many parents miss the mark and actually model the opposite.” Throwing money at
social problems like racism or violence doesn’t resolve them, Albert says. But
“The energy from kids’ excitement can make a
real difference and we need their energy focused right here at home,” says the
mother of four. “They see problems; it’s up to us to give them the tools to
The following tips can help parents teach
their children personal integrity and social responsibility, giving them the
keys to world peace:
Never lie in front of your kids. It may seem obvious, but many parents lie in front of their
children or encourage them to lie; misstating a child’s age to save money on
movie tickets or allowing them to take credit for school projects completed by
the parent. These seemingly inconsequential lies suggest it’s OK, even good, to
distort the truth. This causes long-term damage a million times more costly
than whatever was gained in the short term.
Give your kids a reason why. Author Mark Twain once said that the two most important days of
your life are the day you are born and the day you figure out why. If you fail
to discuss with your kids why we are all here, you have missed the opportunity
to figure out what motivates them and gets them excited. This is the most
important key to getting a child’s cooperation and empowering them to help the
Don’t criticize your children. Criticism is toxic, so why do almost all parents criticize their
kids? When we focus on what they aren’t, they believe they can’t. This creates
angry children who express their pain by bullying others. It’s better to tell
them how you feel rather than what you think of them, e.g., “I feel frustrated
that you didn’t listen to me,” or “Can you say that in a more loving way?”
Don’t speak badly about other
people. This is probably one of the hardest things to
do, considering we’re a generation that pays for gossip. Speaking badly about
others teaches kids to look for what they view as the negative in others and
take joy in sharing it.
Model charity. Actions speak louder than any words. When you teach kindness to
children, they tend to feel empathy and have more successful lives, a crucial
step toward achieving world peace.
Once we tackle the issues
plaguing America, then as a model nation, we will be ready to tackle world
peace, Albert says. Kids are hungry to form an identity and make their mark on
the world. It’s easier to try to bring peace to another country, but that never
works. We need to start at home.
Rachel Albert, a certified court reporter and author of Quest to Telos, For more information, visit