Tag Archives: Values

Dec 24

As we all know, peers/friends are probably the most important thing in a teen’s life.  This can be a particular conundrum depending on who the friends are, of course.  We know that along with attitudes, values, and beliefs, negative peer associations are a very strong risk factor for anti-social behavior.  We also know peers have a dramatic affect on attitudes, values and beliefs.

Much of an adolescent’s self-image, “beliefs” and “attitudes”, are in synch with and shaped by their peers – good, bad or ugly.  For most adolescents for example, it would be unthinkable to act in ways that were inconsistent with the norms of their peer group.

For approval, sometimes the most shocking acts are the best to perform, even if they totally are against their values.  For acceptance, the desire for conformity and loyalty to peers often outweigh consequences, values, and even family loyalty.  Paradoxically, despite often blind adherence to the peer group’s norms, teens will often externalize the bad decision-making on the people they hang out with.  For teens, choice of peer group is crucial to doing the responsible thing and the irresponsible thing.

For parents, it is crucial to be aware of the choices their teen is making regarding friendships.  Parents should be as informed as possible about their teen’s friends, their parents, and have as much personal contact information as possible.  Parents must not apologize for being vigilant; it is a riskier world out there than ever before.  Keep your kids close and don’t abandon them to their peer group.

May 26

“A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.”


“Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit, we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”

Every day, every one of us meets life situations which call for thought, opinion-making, decision-making and action. Some of our experiences are familiar, some novel, some are casual, some of extreme importance. Everything we do, every decision we make and course of action we take, are based on our consciously or unconsciously held beliefs, attitudes and values.

Values are one of the top three risk factors for anti-social behavior. The other two are beliefs and attitudes.

Values + Attitudes = Behavior
(Thinking) + (Feelings) = (Behavior)

Values are an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or state of existence is personally and socially preferable. In other words, our values are the things that are most important to us. – Honesty, money, self-respect, excitement, harmony, privacy, security, love, friendship, comfort, image, power, humor.

Values are a cognitive component of human beings that are learned as we grow from childhood to adulthood. In the end, however, what you choose to value is entirely up to you.

Attitudes are the beliefs that represent values in daily events with specific persons or objects.

Generally, your values have been influenced by:

Past experience
Society (Advertisements, magazines, TV, internet, etc.)
Others (Teachers, coaches, etc.)

Knowing what’s most important to us provides a blueprint and direction in our lives.

Mar 17

Einstein said:
“The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to our lives”.

A recent survey completed by State Farm Insurance Co. took a look at America’s “moral” fabric, concluding it was at the least “frayed”. Some highlights of this survey include: The top five “absolutely essential” values that parents want for their children are honesty, respect for others, self-discipline, academic excellence, and self-sufficiency. When asked about their success in teaching these values to their children, 50 percent said they had done a good job on teaching courtesy, honesty, and academic excellence. However, only 38% said they had been successful in teaching self-sufficiently and 34% said they had successfully taught self-control.

Years ago Father Flanagan said, “There are no bad boys.” This is a reference to his belief that we are born good. Some other schools of thought believe we are born “innocent” but not good, that goodness must be taught.

There is certainly no shortage of external factors that can and do effect “goodness” such as, music, TV and movie violence, proliferation of pornography, absence of fathers, poor discipline in schools, poverty, to mention a few. All of these factors to varying degrees affect goodness. mobdro apk free download Do parents want their children to be “good” people; of course they do. Most parents, however, do not make “goodness” a primary concern.

Ask yourselves the following questions:

Would I rather have a kind child with average intelligence or a brilliant child who wasn’t kind?

How much time have I spent developing my child’s ethics relative to other achievements?

Do I reward goodness (kindness) as I do grades or making the soccer team, and do I react less seriously to character deficiencies than to scholastic or other deficiencies?

Would I allow my child to cheat to achieve something significant?

Do I insist my child thank people?

If you asked your child “what do you think I most want for you – to be happy, smart, successful, or good?” How do you think they would answer?

As parents we clearly communicate what we care about most, whether we realize it or not. If I could offer one piece of advice to all parents of young children, it would be to “work hard” at being sure goodness or moral competency is equally balanced with other values and expectations in your child’s life. Ultimately, as our children grow and become adults it becomes equally important to us that our kids have become not just happy and successful, but that they are good people too. It is high irony to raise a child who you of course love but don’t much like.

Feb 24

Something I read recently amazed me as to its application in what we try to impart to kids in our programs.

Remarkably, it was written in 1779 by Ben Franklin: this is paraphrased from “The Morals of Chess”

Look into the future and consider the consequences. Think about the real advantages to yourself, than wonder about the impact on others and how that might reflect on your life. Imagine how you might defend your position.


Examine the bigger picture including the dangers, the possibilities, and probabilities. Be braver about options that scare you.


Don’t make moves in haste or in passion. Keep the rules and guidelines of law, etiquette, and commandments. Understand that once you’ve made your move, you set into play a series of events over which you may not have recourse, from which you might suffer in your soul as well as your life.