Values We Are Taught As Children Are Somehow Lost In Life

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.

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 dependent 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.


  • Grace K

    I can testify that some of the values I was taught as a child still guides me in life up to today. I may not be doing exactly all of them, but at least most of them. Sharing is caring.

  • ashlee k

    these are the same values i was taught growing up and i owe it to my parent to be the person i am today, i also have admit when i became an adult these values somehow lost among not just an individual but as society as well. And i am all for love for learning

  • brainedet

    I love some mother’s for this, they try to imbibe these values and virtues into their kids. Being able to care and be respectful are two values I hope to see almost all children imbibe.

  • esgyll

    Values we were taught as children really are the building blocks of who we will become in the future. It is our duty to pass this long/share this with our children, so that they might also share it with their own children, and their own children, and so on and so forth. Indeed, sharing is caring for the sake of the future.

  • Jane

    These are very rich values that will not only give you peace with others but ensure you impact positively on others. Whatever you give comes back to you.

  • jolly555

    I know the two values my parents really wanted us to have was honesty and respect and still now I haven’t departed from it. I will also teach my children this too.

  • Obalade Damilola

    As a child, one of the values I was taught is honesty..also,stealing other people’s item was forbidden…This things ought to be instilled in kids so that they won’t depart from it when they grow up

  • Rizzee Cerdeñola

    I was taught with all the values mentioned here. We need to be kind to everybody, it does not cost anything.

  • Meldred Judith

    My parents have taught me all these good traits but as I grow older, I tend to forget being optimistic in life. I guess it is due to stress and never ending life struggles.

  • Danielle M

    You are right, for some reason some of the values that we learn when we are children lost power when we grow up. I don’t know why.

  • Roy

    The love of learning is one of the best things any child can be taught. It keeps the child eager to always know more.

  • Meg W

    It’s true that most of these values get lost as we get older. Learning to hold on to them is the real challenge.

  • Patricia

    All these values are important in making a well rounded person. It’s sad not all of us keep them into adulthood.

  • Oliver

    Loyalty and respect can go a long way if imparted early enough onto a child. I really enjoyed the article.

  • Daphne

    I grew up with all these values but admittedly I haven’t kept all of them. I need to work on bettering myself. Thank you for the insightful post.

  • Miaka Yuuki

    I agree but not because they are kids but rather because we all grew up. As responsibilities pile up as adults we tend to forget what really counts. That is why I always say that growing up is not tossing out the child in you it is embracing it.

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