Values You Should Teach Your Children Before They're 5

Values You Should Teach Your Children Before They're 5
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Written by Okairy

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Some parents believe that it is impossible and useless to try to teach their children values when they are young. Believing that there is no point in doing this because of their age is a mistake, as the first 5 years of a person’s life define many of their characteristics.

If your child is within this age range, take note of the values you should be teaching them. The sooner you work on this, the better your child will adopt these values in their life.


The best way to instill honesty in your child is to tell the truth yourself. If your child sees you lying and then you try to give them an unconvincing explanation, they will be confused and learn that lying is okay.

If this happens, they will see lies as normal, natural and unimportant. When you realize that your child has lied to you, avoid overreacting. It is best to explain the importance of telling the truth with words that are easy for them to understand.

If you realize that they are telling a lie, stop them and clearly tell them you know they are lying. Ask them to tell you the truth. This way, they will learn that there is no point in lying and that it’s always better to be honest from the beginning.

Between 0 to 5 years old, children do not really tell harmful lies. The problem is that if you allow them to lie, they form habits that are difficult to break.


How many times have you made your child apologize for having a bad attitude? How many times have they had consequences for bad behavior? The second value that you cannot neglect teaching your children before they are 5 years old is justice.

Teaching your children about justice means that they will learn that every behavior has a consequence. Parents who choose to overlook their children’s bad behavior, teach them that nothing happens when they behave like that. Then, when the little ones grow up and face the real world, they will not know how to act according to the rules.


values to teach your children before age 5

Encouraging your child to take on new challenges helps them to have determination and self-confidence. The third value that you must teach your children before they are 5 years old will help them face complicated situations in life.

The best way to teach this value is to avoid giving excessive rewards. It is good to recognize every improvement your child makes and congratulate them for it. What you have to be careful of is the way you reward them.

If you give your child sweets every time they eat their vegetables, they will stop seeing a good diet as an obligation. Instead, they will begin to see their rewards as an obligation of yours. Instead, challenge them to improve and meet their goals every time. A good way to do this is to encourage them to play sports.


The fourth value you have to teach your children is to learn to think about and respect the feelings of others. We live surrounded by other people and cannot just step on them.

Your children must understand that their actions and words can either help or hurt anyone who hears them. The first step may be to explain to them that they have said something inappropriate when the situation arises. Understand that they do not know this, and that it is your duty to explain the situation to them with kind words.

Have them put themselves in the other person’s place. What would they think? How would they feel? Would they like to have the same thing done to them? Talk to them frankly and you will see that they will understand and adopt this value quickly and with minimal effort.


parents holding baby's hands on the beach

Parents often think that their children are loving beings by nature. Although it is true, you should always talk about this value and explain that it must be reciprocal. Taking a few seconds to tell your child that you love them will be something completely unique and special for them.

When you show them your love, your child learns that this behavior is positive and they will learn to show their love to others. Don’t be afraid to kiss and hug your little one. In fact, they need this in order to feel safe and special.

These are the values that you should not overlook during your child’s first years of life. These will lay the foundation for your child to have good behavior and be a happy person.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.