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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:
- Determine the problem
- Determine who is impacted by the problem
- 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.