Teach Your Kid Ethics - Be Ethical and Teach Your Child How To Be an Ethical Person

Ways to Teach

You're reading this online and it is indeed an article written by one of those moms who thinks children can learn how to behave ethically.

All too often we hear that younger generations feel entitled to anything they want. Manners and ethics seem to have fallen to the sidelines for our future politicians and CEO's. Teaching your child manners and ethics at an early age will enable him or her to make good decisions and to account for and correct poor decisions.

Teach your child manners by example

Children are not born with manners. They learn them through mimicking and experience. A child's behavior is mostly influenced right in his or her own home by (you got it!) you.

When you expect certain manners and behaviors from your child, look at yourself first. Do you exhibit the desired manners and behaviors when interacting with your child? When you want your child to hand over a toy or some other item, do you use please and thank you? Do you speak respectfully to your spouse and parents? Let your child witness you using good manners while in public to further instill their importance. Thank cashiers, wish people a good day, hold open doors, and smile politely at people you pass.

Teach your child to be grateful for what he or she has

Children are not always appreciative of what they have. Sally's friend has a bigger house, Tommy's Dad has a hotrod, and Junior's friend has a huge swimming pool.

It is important for our children to realize what is a necessity and what is plain-old nice to have. A big house is fantastic, but a roof over your head is a blessing. A hotrod is fun, but a minivan still serves the same purpose - to get us from point A to point B. And a swimming pool is great exercise, but not necessary for a good time.

When your child makes a comment about someone having something nicer or better, simply agree with him or her. You can also mention that your family is also lucky to have the things it has. Point out that different families buy and get different things to meet their needs and wants.

Teach your child good problem solving skills for his or her age

This one may take a little practice and will surely develop more and more as your child ages. Teach your child that to solve problems, she should look at the problem from all angles, consider all possible outcomes, and choose the best possible scenario. A good way to practice this skill is to role play. Set up scenarios for your child and help him or her work through the following steps:

  1. Determine the problem
  2. Determine who is impacted by the problem
  3. Determine possible solutions and the most likely outcomes of those solutions

Once the steps are completed for all solutions, compare the determined outcomes and choose the one that would best solve the problem.

Teach your child to take responsibility for his or her actions by experiencing the results of individual decisions

When you child makes a decision, let him or her experience the positive or negative outcome of the decision unless it can be dangerous. If the results are positive, great! Praise your child for a job well done. If the results are negative, do not rush in to immediately pick up the pieces. Encourage your child to use (a-ha!) those problem solving skills mentioned above to correct the action taken. You can always help your child determine the best way to correct an action, but let him or her think about it alone first. This skill is important because we do not want Sally running home at age 40 asking how to tell a friend she is sorry for calling her a bad name.

Teach your child to accept and learn from mistakes

Let your child know it is normal to make mistakes. Explain that the best way to avoid making that same mistake in the future is to learn from it. Encourage your child to figure out why the mistake was made. Was it because of an error in judgement? Fine, remember the experience to draw upon for the future. Was it because of miscommunication? Ok, be sure to check all lines of communication better in the future. Ensure you are receiving and transmitting as clearly as possible.

Good Decisions = Good Lives

A child who is able to make good decisions is able to be proud of those decisions.
A child who is able to make good decisions is able to be proud of those decisions.

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Comments 21 comments

Mac Mission profile image

Mac Mission 8 years ago from bangalore

hey what you mean by the three daughter in you profile you mentioned

Ardie profile image

Ardie 8 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi Mac Mission. I hope I fixed the way that sounded! I meant I have three daughters : )

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

a great wonder piece for us all. Good Manners and ethics make the society a better place for us all. Thanks

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Thanks ubanichijioke! I couldnt agree more. Bad manners and ill-behaved people only contribute to the crumbling of society we all see daily. This hub was actually written after witnessing some very rude children. Hopefully they're grown now and act better.

Charles S profile image

Charles S 5 years ago from UK

Ardie - your page is so refreshing to read because you seem to ooze commonsense. Here in NE England many parents demonstrate woeful behaviour for their children to learn - yelling, screaming, anger, threats, hostility are routine. Offloading the kids onto relatives or friends in order to party at weekends is the highlight of their week. I pray there are more parents like yourself. Well done.

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Wow Charles, that's so sad to hear. But unfortunately I see the bad modeling here too. People seem too busy for their children and too important to just play tea party and teach good manners and how to be polite. I thank you for your kind words and I hope I live up to them :)

Aceblogs profile image

Aceblogs 5 years ago from India

Indeed ethics and manners are very important for the survival !

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Thanks for stopping in Aceblogs :) I can still remember a time when my manners were laughed at. I was discouraged from being formal blah blah blah. I couldn't believe it!

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

These five basic lessons spell out in simple terms what it means to be a responsible parent, one who will raise responsible children. Unfortunately, too many parents either don't know how important this training is, or do know but don't make the effort to put it in place.

Up, useful, and awesome. If HP had "essential", "vital", or "important" ratings, I'd choose them.

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Wow! That's quite the compliment Sallys Trove and I appreciate your kind words. Its just beyond me how some adults behave when they know they have children who look up to them. I think all kids are born sweet and innocent..and how they turn out is a result of what they hear and witness. Maybe I'm naive, but its how I feel :)

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

You are not naive.

sharewhatuknow profile image

sharewhatuknow 5 years ago from Western Washington

What do you do with your children after you have taught them all of the above, only to witness their father being shot and murdered in his own front yard, while they are there?

This is not a scenario, this actually happened. My daughter at the time was 14, and my son, now deceased, was 17 at the time and standing right next to his father when he was shot point blank in the chest by a large caliber hand gun. What do you tell your children then?

sharewhatuknow profile image

sharewhatuknow 5 years ago from Western Washington

I forgot to mention, my eldest daughter at that time was 20. She lived out of town and did not witness this horrific event, perpetrated by a woman, that did not like men, to put it plainly. My 14-year-old daughter phoned me crying, to put it mildly, about what had just happened to her father.

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

sharewhatuknow - thanks for stopping in. I'm so sorry to hear about the father of your children. That had to be traumatic for them to witness :( While some children are unable to deal with this type of event even with therapy and strong family support there is still hope. Teaching a child ethics does not enter into the scenario you described because the children did not commit the awful act of taking someone else's life. Instead, what they need is patience, understanding, time, love, and extra tender guidance. I hope this was long ago and your children are doing well. Please let me know how they are...I'm very sad for them.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Great hub. Voted up,useful, interesting, and awesome. I think setting the example is the best way that children learn. This should be a helpful hub for a lot of people, Ardie!

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Thanks Victoria Lynn! This was my first hub ever :) and boy did I think I knew it all back then hahah This was inspired by rude children on the school bus who hurt my sweet baby's feelings. Now she's tough as nails and I have to remind HER to act kind sometimes.

Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Oh Ardie,

Truly this is an awesome first hub. I can think of a few people that should read this immediately. I did not realize until now that you have been on HP for three years. So cool. But you are just a kid yourself, aren't you? Nice job here!


Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Hello Sharyn! Its so nice to see you here :) I can say I also know some people I'd like to print this out and hand it to hahah As for being a kid still - well, photoshop works wonders, doesn't it?! Thanks for your kind words on my first hub...it hasnt really gotten much traffic.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Children? Ethics? Adults? Ethics? Wow, what a concept! I would like to make ten thousand copies of this and hand them out on the street corner. I remember as a youngster having my friend's mom tell me I was the most polite child she knew, and it wasn't by accident. Mom and Dad insisted that I treat others with respect and they drilled into me to take responsibility for my actions. Great hub and I hope this hub has a revival on hubpages.

Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

This is an awesome hub. I agree with you 100% that parents need to be teaching respect and discipline to their children. @ billy, I would love to do that also, spread the word far and wide. The lack of respect these days definitely leads to what we have in politics and Govt. Maybe those peoples parents were the same way?

Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hello billybuc and thanks for reading! I was so naive when I wrote this, my very first Hub ever. Who was I to tell people how to teach their children ethics?! hahah thankfully I must've had some good advice since I lived by it and my own kids turned out to be sweet and kind (so far). Your mom could write her own Hub on this huh?!

Hi Curiad :) Thank you so much for agreeing with me! It makes me like you all that much more hahah I liked you anyways so Im joking. I am amazed every single day with the behavior of children. And usually once its explained how the kids are behaving poorly they seem more than happy to change the behaviors to please. Imagine if the parents took those 2 seconds at home so I didnt have to explain it!!

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