Monday 8 July 2013


How to Teach Your Child Respect for Property?

We need to teach our children respect for property. Instead of simply saying no, do not do this and that, and expect obedience, it is very important to explain to our children the moral reason why behind our instructions. Children are more willing to obey if they know the reasoning behind it.

Why should we respect property?

We should take the time to explain that it is because the Bible teaches us to esteem the preciousness of others, to respect others and their property:

Philippians 2:3 tells us to esteem and regard others higher than ourselves.
Titus 3: 2 instructs us to be courteous to all men.

How to teach and train children respect for property?

By teaching and training from young as follows according to the book "Let the Child Come Along the Virtuous Way" based on the series Growing Kids God's Way:

1. Start from home
2. Respect property when visiting friends
3. Respect public property
4. Purchasing labor
5. Duty labor

Elaboration of each point as follows:

1. Start from home – the living room:

As your children become increasingly mobile, set boundaries for both their well-being as well as respect for property. Certain household items should be off limits such as television knobs, remote control, stereo buttons, etc.)

2. Respect property when visiting friends by teaching your children

a. Not to rearrange their living room claiming that the items are too much temptation for our children.
b. Not to explore bedrooms, open cabinets, refrigerators or drawers.
c. Not to climb on furniture.
d. Not to jump on sofa or beds.
e. Not to carry their cat, slinging it from its neck.
f. Not to play behind the curtains.
g. Not to let your children throw another child’s toy

3. Respect public property by teaching your child

a. Not to toss your gum wrapper or gum others’ property regardless the condition of the place. And public property does not belong to you.
b. Not to litter.
c. When you finish your shopping, return the shopping cart to the appropriate place. Why? We should not leave our shopping cart squeezed between two cars because when we drive off, we have no control over that cart. The wind may blow it out into the roadway or into another car.

4. Purchasing labor

In order to truly respect the property of another, a person must understand the relationship between labor and value. Labor defines value. How to teach that? By renumerating labor that the child does for purchasing something specific for himself.

a. The child that labors to earn money to purchase a bike for himself will have a greater appreciation for its value than the child that receives it as a gift.
b. Do not confuse purchasing labor (which is to benefit self) with duty labor (which is to benefit the whole team).
c. This type of labor gives real value to money. Such an experience prepares children to be wise money-managers. Their understanding of the value of a dollar or 100 dollars as a result of their labors forced a greater appreciation of their own toys, personal possessions as well as the property of others.

5. Duty labor

a. Duty labor is not done for money, but to help the family team. Everyone does something in support of the family.
b. Examples of duty labors are setting the table, washing the car, feeding the dog, folding the clothes, etc. Here is the book Let the Children Come Along the Virtuous Way by Ezzo & Ezzo:

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