The Jewish people are dedicated to the belief that we are responsible to society and to the world. Jews give charity in far greater proportion than others. For example, the United Jewish Appeal raises $750 million annually, making it the third largest charity in the U.S. after the Red Cross and the United Way. Since Jews are only 2% of the total population of the U.S., this demonstrates the devotion to social responsibility. Jewish values for children
Jewish perspective, and more specifically, Mussar perspective tells us that if we see another human being in distress, we have an obligation to go out of our way to help. Being a good person according to Jewish perspective, requires us to take responsibility for others. How can parents and educators teach children this value? If we want to have children who are responsible, it is up to us to teach them responsibility. Jewish values for children
They will learn quickly that they have jobs just like adults do. If you want to be successful promoting responsibility in young children, making it as fun as possible will help. Turn “clean up time” into a game, a clothes hamper into a basketball hoop, or use a sticker chart for each job successfully completed.
Establish a routine for tasks. Children thrive with routine in their lives and they see that jobs are a part of everyday life. When you’re trying to get things accomplished, remember that there are jobs that young children can do to help you that will also make them feel like a responsible member of your classroom or family. Jewish values for children
When children are learning to do new things, they may have difficulty accomplishing tasks or may make mistakes, but always praise them for their effort! Positive reinforcement will tell children that their efforts are appreciated.
Children need to experience their own consequences. In our attempt to protect our children, we often do things for them rather than allowing them to experience disappointment or frustration. If we bail them out of trouble every time, they will not learn to accomplish tasks on their own and will not learn to accept responsibility. Children need to be dependable, not only in their home but also in their school and community. As they get older they are progressively more capable of doing more for themselves and for others. Jewish values for children
Children will have the best opportunity to learn the value of responsibility if they observe the adults in their lives modeling it. Parents and teachers need to demonstrate personal accountability and by doing so we will inspire the next generation of adults devoted to the well being of society.
The Mussar For Children Curriculum integrates Jewish values into the classroom and connects those values with activities completed at school and at home. Children learn through puppets, songs, activities, and practice. Teachers receive lesson plans, activities, book lists, and articles for school newsletters. Parents receive communication that explains the middah that their children are learning about, along with relevant book lists and activities that can be done at home to further reinforce the value. Jewish values for children
Mussar For Children was created by Michelle Princenthal in partnership with The Mussar Institute. It is the only values for children curriculum of its kind geared specifically for young children. Jewish values for children
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©2013 Michelle Princenthal
©2015 The Mussar Institute
Jewish values for children