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Using Your Values
by Harriet Heath, Ph.D.
Harriet Heath

the Book
the Author
Parenting Press

Feature stories:
Experts shouldn't dictate your family values
"Can-do" and "Hands-on" are more than cliches with Harriet Health

Honesty most important value say American Parents
What are your values?

Media questions

Reviewer and reader comments

Order the book

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Media kits introduction

Link to book description

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Sidebar 1

Honesty most important value,
say American parents

Honesty is the most important value for their children, American parents believe.

A recent online poll by Parenting Press, Inc., Seattle publishers of the recently released Using Your Values to Raise Your Child to Be an Adult You Admire, shows that parents also want their children to be responsible, confident, caring and ethical.

The other values emphasized by parents are—in descending order—consideration for others, a sense of morals, spirituality, empathy and creativity.

How to define and teach each of these values is a new feature of the Parenting Press web site (, where Harriet Heath, author of Using Your Values, discusses one value each month. Additional suggestions for teaching values can be printed out from the Parenting Press archives.

Sidebar 2

What Traits Do You Value?
A Quiz for Parents

In every challenging situation, parents have several ways to respond. Each response conveys different values to the child involved. Read each situation, circle the response closest to yours and look up your values below.

  1. Three year-old Zack proudly dressed himself in a dotted pink shirt with green and red plaid pants.
    1. Notice but say nothing about his clothes.
    2. Notice and comment pleasantly.
    3. Tell Zack to change clothes.
    4. Decide to talk about clothes combinations.

  2. Your daughter Yvonne promised to go to Sarah's birthday party but now, the day of the party, she doesn't want to go. She wants to stay with Uncle Max."
    1. Accept Yvonne's preference.
    2. Talk with Yvonne about how Sarah will feel.
    3. Discuss why she doesn't want to go and the consequences of not going.
    4. Insist that your child go.

  3. Your son Willie's pet dog Muffin died. He is crying and wants to have a funeral for the dog.
    1. Tell Willie not to cry.
    2. Rush out and buy a new pet.
    3. Cuddle Willie and support his preparation for a funeral.
    4. Talk about life and death, and how he can remember Muffin.

  4. "Ted-dy is a ba-by," chants Sophie to her three and a half year old younger brother. Ted starts to cry, protesting that he is not a baby.
    1. Send Sophie to her room.
    2. Ignore them.
    3. Ask Sophie how Ted is feeling.
    4. Teach Ted to decide for himself if Sophie's claim is true.

  5. It is 7:00pm and Robby (9) and Pearl (6) have not picked up the Legos® as they promised.
    1. Encourage them to come and help put the Legos® away.
    2. Pick up the toys and put them away for several days.
    3. Ignore them.
    4. Pick up toys. Put them where they are kept.

Values conveyed in situations: 1. Dressing: a. independence, b. neatness, c. uninvolved, d. problem solving. 2. Birthday party: a. happiness or independence, b. empathy, c. problem solving, d. trustworthy. 3. Dog dies: a. courage, b. happiness, c. sensitive, d. spiritual. 4. Teasing: a. obedience, b. independence or parent detached, c. empathy, d. problem-solving. 5. Toy clean-up: a. cooperation, b. responsibility, c. giving up, d. happiness.

To learn more about values, check out Using Your Values to Raise Your Child to Be an Adult You Admire, by Harriet Heath or visit the results of the Parent Press Values Poll at

For more information:
Parenting Press Publicity Coordinator
E-mail: Publicity Coordinator
Telephone: (800) 992-6657, ext. 105
Fax: (206) 364-0702

About the Book:
Title: Using Your Values to Raise Your Child to Be an Adult You Admire
Author: Harriet Heath, Ph.D.
Publisher: Parenting Press, Inc., Seattle, WA
Publication date: January 2000
ISBN: 1-884734-36-7
Price: $16.95, 178 pages