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Can Parents Raise Their Children to Have the Wrong Beliefs and Values?

Updated on November 22, 2017

Parents are often the first role models for their children. Children learn from their parents, they imitate, and sometimes they strive to be like them, if not better. Parents often have a strong influence because their children watch them and they have the great responsibility of instilling lifetime values so that they can grow up to be well-rounded, respectful young adults. Not all adults with children have the same parenting style. The way parents raise their children generally stems from the foundation and teachings their own parents set for them. Many parents want their children to have exceptional moral character and to know right from wrong. Values and beliefs shape families and are kept at the forefront of their life as they influence decisions, choice, and the affect someone has on others. Do you value family life? Religion? Cultural background? Race? Do you love others? Honesty and integrity? However, I do believe parents can raise their children to have the wrong beliefs and values. Parents are also a child’s first teacher, how they act and the qualities they hold come from them.

As the late great Nelson Mandela once said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion.” A belief that one’s own race is superior or inferior, or treating a person or group of people differently on the basis of their race is known as racism. Racism has been a constant and controversial subject in America. There are parents, typically whites, who teach children to dislike other children, partially blacks, based on their skin color. This is wrong because no one should be mistreated based upon their skin color; we are all equal. Children aren’t born believing that they cannot play with other children who don’t share the same skin color. Looking back into history, Martin Luther King Jr. dealt with racism when a white mother prohibited her two white sons from playing with him. In 1950, during the Civil Rights movement, 15 year-old Hazel Massey was pictured screaming at Little Rock Nine Elizabeth Eckford. In this infamous photo, Massey had strong hatred for Eckford who was just trying to enter school. Even though racism and segregation was at an all-time high in the fifties, Eckford was taught to hate blacks and presumably did not know any better as she apologized five decades later. Massey’s parent were prejudice, and her parents had passed that belief to her. Valuing other races were not a part of Massey’s upbringing. One could also conclude that having respect for all people were not part of her values. I believe that it is imperative that parents stop teaching racism and raise their children to love others, which is an important value because in a world full of hate, compassion and respect goes a long way.

I believe that it is a parent’s duty to raise their children in such a way that will shape them into knowing what is right. Some kids don’t know any better and just follow what they had been taught their whole life. When parents raise their children right, they can pass the values down to their own children.

© 2017 Jessicaoffor


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    • Anna Watson profile image

      Anna Watson 

      11 months ago from Atlanta, GA

      Well stated. Children are sponges and learn much from their classmates, friends, and other relatives, but a child's first teacher is their parent. A parent is naturally going to pass their values down to their children, and while children CAN learn not to be prejudice despite bigoted parents, not all of them escape the cycle of hate.


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