Our behavior reveal a lot about our values. Think about when you are at a crowded restaurant and have to wait 45 minutes to be seated, or, you are on the phone with an insurance company waiting to speak with a customer service representative, are you patient? Do you get frustrated easily? Are you polite when you finally get to the head of the line,? Your answers to these questions say a lot about the value you place on “patience” and to some degree “respect” of others.

We teach values to our children by what we do, not what we say. I will never forget how the notion of “giving back” became a part of me. I was 12 years old and driving in the car with my mom. She stopped it in front of a run down white home and said “I will be right back. This is a home for foster children and I volunteer here once a week.” I had no idea she was doing that and watching her exit the home, spoke volumes to me. I was so proud of my mom and knew that helping others is something I would be doing as part of my life. The value of “giving back” did not develop in me by my mom talking about its importance, but rather, it developed in me by watching her. And this is why our actions as parents and teachers, are so important. They have a huge impact on our children’s development.

What we do has such a big impact that a recent New York Times Article spoke about how another country was developing “values” in school children as a result of the actions of minority students.

The title: Paris Announces Plan To Promote Secular Values, following the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Kosher market. Values are being taught in French schools due to the rift between French school children and other minorities who refused to observe a moment of silence in schools following the terrorism attacks.

The government plans on spending $80 million in 2015 and $250 million over the next three years to promote civics and moral lessons in French schools.

So the behavior of 3/4s of a heavily immigrant school who refused to observe the moment of silence, is what led the French government to enact a program to teach secular values in schools.