Seven Ways to Impart Moral Values to Children
Allegory of the Morality of Earthly Things
Buddha and the Elephant Nalagiri
Moral Values for Children
In an article published in 2011, I suggested that moral values be taught in schools. These moral values included: unconditional love and kindness; honesty; hard work; respect for others; cooperation; compassion; and forgiveness. Now in this article, I present seven other ways that moral values can be imparted to all children.
A Family in India in the 1870s
Where Moral Values Are Learned
Children learn moral values at home from their parents when they are very young. Following this exposure from their mother, father, or both parents, kids will pick up more moral values at school, in religious places of worship, playing sports, through the media, and by association with good friends.
The problem today is that in our permissive society the teaching of moral values is neglected by most schools, the media, and by association with bad role models. A bigger problem is that imparting moral values is neglected in many one parent families where the mother has no control of her kids and in two parent families where both father and mother work and seldom spend time with their children.
Ways to Impart Moral Values to Children
In addition to teaching moral values in the classroom, the following seven methods are worthy to examine: one, being a good role model; two, introducing stories with a moral message; three, having kids watch wholesome movies and TV programs; four, participation in team sports; five, engaging in religious activities; six, working together with children; and seven, setting rules for kids to follow in the home. Each one of these methods is now examined.
Being a Good Role Model
Children start modeling the activity of their parents at a very early age. If kids hear their father and mother use obscene language, they will repeat it and this will become a part of their vocabulary. Furthermore, if very young children see a parent smoking or drinking, they will tend to imitiate this behavior. For this reason, as kids first role model, parents must set good examples for their children to follow in practicing moral values. If kids see unconditional love and kindness, honesty, respect for others, and other moral virtues practiced in the home, they will tend to embrace these values.
Teachers, coaches, religious figures, and the media also have the responsiblity of being good role models to all youth. By setting good examples for young people, there will be more love and kindness, honesty, respect for others, cooperation, compassion, and forgiveness in the world.
Introducing Stories with a Moral Message
All kids like to hear and read stories. At the age of one or two, parents can start reading stories to children. All of these stories should leave a strong moral message that good is much better and wins out over evil. In addition, the stories should show examples of unconditional love, honesty, compassion, and hard work as worthy moral values to emulate.
As children get older, parents can introduce Aesop's Fables and also suggest their children read, for example, the classics of Little Women and Little Men by Louisa May Alcott which are packed with examples of moral virtues.
Having Kids Watch Wholesome Movies and TV Programs
All too often, children are watching movies, videos, and TV programs with negative role models and which advocate sex, dishonesty, and violence. A good way of ensuring that kids are learning moral values is by watching wholesome family movies and TV programs with them when children are young. When kids get older, parents must closely monitor the types of programs they watch at home.
Participation in Team Sports
When I was in junior and senior high school, I had many moral values learned at home reinforced by participating in team sports like baseball and football. By being a member of a team, I learned how hard work, cooperation, honesty, and good sportsmanship made teams and individual players successful.
Engage in Religious Activities
While attending eight years of Catholic School. the nuns who were my teachers reinforced many of the moral values which I learned and developed at home from mom and dad. If kids are members of religious youth organizations, they will better embrace the moral virtues of love, kindness, honesty, and respect for others.
Imparting Moral Values to Children
Which is the best way to impart moral values to children?
Working Together with Children
I learned and appreciated moral virtues when I worked together with my folks on the farm while growing up. I especially remember the importance of hard work, cooperation, and honesty which I picked up from mom and dad on the farm. I think it would be very beneficial for all children to work together with their parents.
Setting Rules for Kids to Follow in the Home
As a former teacher, I found that many of my students lacked discipline in their lives and in the classroom. One good way to instill discipline in children is by setting rules for them to follow in the home. If rules are broken, kids should know that they are accountable and that there are consequences for actions.
It is important that children be taught moral values in the home at an early age. Later, these moral values must be reinforced by teachers, coaches, and religious figures. The seven ways I suggest is a good starting point to supplement learning moral values in school.
Another Hub Related to Moral Values
- Lessons Learned From Growing Up on a Farm
Growing up on a farm gave me the experience to learn valuable moral lessons for life. These valuable lessons include the importance of hard work, the value of money, self-sufficiency, and team work.
© 2016 Paul Richard Kuehn