How do our children learn right from wrong? How do we teach them to be the kind of people who enhance rather than diminish the quality of life in our society? How do we pass on to them a sense of morality, values and social responsibility?
Raising children with good values and morals is one of the most important aspects in parenting. We want our children to be artistic, do well in school and look good, but nothing is more important as their moral behavior. If our children are not good, honest, self-disciplined, kind, hard-working people, then their humanity is diminished, says Joyce Fittro, a family and consumer science educator from Ohio.
The following characteristics help promote moral development:
• Honest and trustworthy
• Faithful and loyal
• Hard-working, responsible and self-disciplined
• Kind, with concern for their fellow human beings
• Independent, able to resist the pressure of the crowd
• Generous, giving and selfless
• Loving, empathetic, sensitive and tolerant
• Friendly, helpful, cheerful and gentle
• Concerned for justice, and respectful of legitimate authority, rules and laws
• Respectful of themselves and the rights of others
• Respectful of life, property, nature, elders and parents
• Courteous, polite, having good manners
• Fair in work and play
• Merciful and forgiving, understanding the futility of holding a grudge
• Service-oriented, willing to contribute to family, friends, community, country, religious, organizations and school
• Peaceful, calm and serene.
We can help children develop these characteristics in several ways:
Parents need to respect children and require respect in return.
Discipline must be respectful and model the restraint, gentleness and fairness we expect of our children.
Be fair with them related to their level of learning and make allowances for immaturity of their development stages.
Teach by example is one of the best ways to teach moral behaviors.
This goes beyond how we treat our kids, but how they see how we treat others.