Posts Tagged ‘moral behavior in children’

Who Is Teaching Morality To Our Children?

December 27, 2010

Who Teaches Morality To Our Children?

I believe that America is increasingly weakened by our failure to teach morality to our children. The most effective ways in which moral behaviors are taught to children are through others “modeling” (showing or describing) moral behavior for children and then “positively reinforcing” (rewarding in many ways) their actions when they imitate adults and peers moral behaviors.

It is axiomatic that “Do as I say, not as I do!” fails pitifully.

My question to you is who is teaching morality to our children? Do you think the majority of our parents are doing so? How could that be so when so many of our parents are behaving immorally, or simply unavailable to children due to divorce, work or other activities? Do you think it is our grandparents? How could that be so when so many of them are behaving immorally, divorced, living away from grandchildren, traveling, or disaffected from their own children? Do you think it is our schools? How could that be so when schools are no longer committed to teaching America’s traditional Judeo-Christian codes for moral conduct and their display has been outlawed from the classroom—all of this with no comparable moral code replacement? Do you think it is our religious organizations? How significant is this influence when increasingly our churches do not teach a strong moral code of conduct for fear of offending their parishioners and losing financial support? How strong can church influence be when our sociologists consistently tell us that families are no longer deeply and significantly involved in church activities and with church social functions?

Can you please tell me Who Is Teaching Morality To Our Children?

My own answer is: Fewer and fewer good parents, fewer and fewer good grandparents, fewer and fewer good private schools, and fewer and fewer good churches. Of course, there are some clubs that remain dedicated to teaching moral and ethical principles such as Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownie Scouts and Girl Scouts, etc. that are also declining in popularity.

Fewer and Fewer of us and our institutions are teaching moral behavior to our children.

Therefore, how could we expect anything but less and less moral behavior in America?

Can you see that these problems imply many solutions?

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.   12/27/10

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