Ask yourself what you imagine for your children in the future, including their personalities as teens and as adults. Chances are you want your child to grow into a healthy, happy, confident and kind person. Without a good moral code, none of that is possible. The way in which your child learns moral behavior is through you. Your kids hear your words, but your actions speak the loudest. If you don’t model a good moral code, your children will not learn to develop one of their own.
Share your beliefs with your child, advises Michele Borba, parenting expert, child expert, author and educational consultant. If you believe that all people should be treated equally, don’t just tell your kids that you believe this because it’s nice. Tell them why you believe it. Tell them that you believe this because you don’t see people in color or size or religion; you see them based on their morals, their ethics and their behaviors. When you share your beliefs with your kids, you are showing them not only your point of view, but you're also allowing them to form their own beliefs and opinions.
Praise positive examples of good behavior when your child exhibits them, advises the Ask Dr. Sears website. If your child makes the decision to stand up for a child who is being bullied by other children, praise him for that. When he is praised for doing the right thing, he will feel good about his decision. When he feels good about something, he’s more likely to do it again.
Teach sensitivity to your child, advises Borba, showing her what it means to put herself in someone else’s shoes. If your daughter refuses to share her toys with her brother and he cries, point it out. Tell her that she made him cry and ask her to imagine what she would feel like if her brother refused to share with her when she wanted to play with him. She may initially tell you she wouldn’t care -- because kids like to get the last word and will often say whatever it takes to make their point -- but if you press her to tell the truth, she will tell you she wouldn’t like it.
Use teachable moments, such as moral dilemmas on television, in popular books or in real-life situations, advises Dr. Sears. If you are watching a movie with your child and the main character is torn between accepting a position she wants more than anything and turning it down because she found out her parents cheated so that she could secure the position, discuss the situation with your child. Ask what he would do. Tell him what you would do. Ask him to tell you what is the moral decision and what is the conflict. These real-life situations can help you discuss morals in-depth.
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