Values for children: Teaching life lessons with stories

It is important that children begin to learn values at a young age. How can story books help inculcate values?

Value Education for Children

Most schools teach Value Education (sometimes called by different names, like Moral Science or Ethics) as a separate subject. Accordingly, such classes use books filled with value-based stories and moral lessons. So at this point it may be fair to ask- do children really learn values from books?

Back when I was in school, Value Education was not yet a subject by its own right. My moral education was at home, listening to my grandfather tell stories of children who did ‘the right thing’. I liked the children in these stories and tried to be like them.

A point often overlooked is how beliefs and ideas are introduced to children. In reality, stories do a much better job of teaching children, rather than a plain lecture. Sooner or later, children get bored and find it hard to absorb and understand complex moral concepts through lectures.

Stories use not just visuals, but also engaging narratives that sustain a child’s interest. If they are personally invested in the characters of the story, they pick up new ideas much faster.

Well, I thought I already was....
Well, now I am thinking if I want to be a good girl.

Learning Values by Imitation

Another reason why stories work better is because children like to do things that they want to do, instead of what they are told to do. Children learn by imitation. Therefore, if you notice carefully, many children imitate their favourite fictional characters, either from books, or TV and films. In today’s world, where parents are busy with work and time with children is a luxury, choosing the right models to imitate is not easy.

Also read: Why Value Education is so important for children today.

How do value education stories help? They give your child examples that they can relate with. A character in the story becomes a fictional friend who they think is cool, and want to be like. Additionally, a story can also explore actions and their consequences in a way easy for a child to understand.

Although Value Education is taught as a subject, there is no typical ‘exam’ that can test what children learn. It is not a subject where one simply learns definitions and memorizes lessons.

mad stan marsh GIF by South Park
Forget the questions! What was the lesson about?

A Lifelong Journey

Lessons from value-based stories evolve into a journey of self discovery for children. Importantly, they pose questions for children for to ask themselves and think about deeply. To put it another way, it kick starts introspection at a very young age. Through this process, they develop individual personalities and build character.

Values-based Books for Children

As we have seen, books that tell interesting stories infused with values and morals, is like hiding healthy vegetables in a samosa. Your child gets the benefit without even realizing that they did!

Of course, there are many stories on the fREADom App that talk about values. The Life Skills Collection and the Family Collection are a good place to start. Check out some of our favorite value-based books below:

Ramya’s Fancy Dress Mess

Ramya learns the true value of friendship. What happens to her during the Fancy Dress contest at school?

Aditi Zoo

Aditi wants a sibling. But her father wants her to prove she can take care of a pet first! Is Aditi responsible enough to be a big sister?

Ramya’s Snack Box

Sharing is caring, and Ramya loves to share! But when she shares her snacks without realizing she has forgotten her lunchbox at home, what will Ramya do?

BONUS: We also love this inspiring Tedx Talk about leveraging Value Education!

Teach your child values with fREADom!

So, did you buy any of these books for your child? What values do you want your children to learn? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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