I overheard a mother teaching her child the value and importance of sharing.  She said, “sharing is caring”, which brought a smile to my face as I was taught the value of sharing as a child, and it has become a kind of inside joke between myself and Angie.

I realized that as children we are taught values that are paramount to our psychosocial development, but for whatever reason, we shed all of these important values as we progress into adulthood.

When we are children, we are taught the value of sharing.  We are taught to share our toys, for example.  When we become adults, we stop sharing; at least the majority of us stop.  if a neighbor asked to borrow a shovel or rake, you might approve, but would you let them borrow your car or an item of great value?  To most of us, the answer to this question would be a resounding, no.  I am reluctant to share high-ticket items such as my car with anybody, but other items such as my camera, laptop computer, or camping equipment I am more than happy to share with a close friend or family member.

I find honesty to be the best policy.  As children we are taught to tell the truth no matter what, especially to adults who are taking care of us, such as a teacher, or babysitter.  I have a sign on my wall that states when you are in doubt, tell the truth.  How many people do we know that as adults, don’t always tell the truth?  And if they do, how many times do they manipulate the story to their advantage, or to protect someone else?

One of my greatest traits, I think is my compassion for those around me.  Kindness goes far above and beyond compassion for others, it’s about treating others with respect.  Do onto others as you would have done to you.  I can think of countless examples of how as adults, we disrespect each other, intentionally hurt animals out of our own insecurities, or take our work-related stress out on our kids.

Love is similar to kindness and respect; in some ways they go hand-in-hand.  Children are taught to love others regardless of their race, origin, sex, etc.  As adults, we start to develop our own feeling and beliefs about other people, such as prejudices and misgivings.  It’s a vicious cycle that repeats itself over and over again throughout our adult lives.

As a child, we are shown a world without conflict where everyone gets along and for the most part, we are happy.  As children, most of our problems are taken care of by our parents and/or authority figures.  As we grow into adulthood, we get overwhelmed and stressed-out.  Optimistic people always look on the bright side of life, never allowing their troubles to get into the way of their happiness.  Unfortunately, most adults find it hard to be optimistic when faced with some of life’s greatest challenges such as divorce, job loss, etc.

When we are children, we are taught at an early age to help one another; visit any kindergarten classroom and you will see exactly what I’m talking about.  Adults somehow lose most of their compassion later on in life.  Usually, it is those people who are in a leadership position.  For example, such a person might be an employer, or boss, who thinks nothing about firing or liquidating a persons position at a job without concern in regards to the effect that decision might have upon their employee or their dependant family.  If everyone cared a little more for one another, we would all be much happier.

Leadership skills are important in today’s ultra-competitive society.  Most children learn leadership skills on the playground or during sports.  While leadership is a valuable skill, in the adult world, those with exceptional leadership skills use them to get ahead in life, while at the same time preventing others from succeeding as well.  If those who are in leadership positions took just a little bit of time out of their busy schedules to inspire others, we would see a huge increase in productivity and morale, especially in vocational and employment situations.

Love of Learning
The moment children are born, they start learning.  Children start out in the sensorimotor stage, then the preoporational stage, followed by the concrete oporational stage, then finally the formal oporational stage (around age 11).  The modern educational system believes that once a person graduates from college, their education is complete, however graduates (those who can afford it) are given the opportunity to attend more years of college to earn a masters or post-doctorial degree.  I believe that no matter what education a person completes, one should never stop learning, nor should they ever pass up any opportunity to learn something new.

Loyalty and Respect
Young people believe that the friends they have in grade school will be their friends forever.  Adulthood teaches us that some things never stay the same; things change, people move away, and unfortunately, friendships are sometimes lost doe to differences in beliefs or geolocation.  Loyalty is remaining friends with somebody no matter what, taking each others side regardless of the situation whenever they need help.  Respect is treating others the way you would want to be treated, acting in a polite manner, if you will.

I’m sure there are many other values that responsible parents teach their children that i have somehow overlooked.  We all know that teaching values starts at home, and is just one small component in good parenting.  Ideally, these values should also be taught in school during our most influential development years, which according to some theorists are most crucial until age 11.

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