How to Instill Ethics in Your Children

Morality and ethics are two sides of the same coin, meaning that someone who is of pure morals will also be ethical in his conduct to others and vis-à-vis, an ethical person will always do moral things. However, children by nature are very fickle and tend to give into peer pressure than any kind of parental pressure. To win over them and make them realize the importance of morality in life, you need to go slow, be patient and engage your child in a meaningful and engrossing discussion.

Ethics and Values

Practice what you preach

Children are little copycats, they learn more from observing you than actually sitting in class or from their books. As a parent, it is your responsibility to be an example for them to emulate. For example, you can’t tell your child to stop swearing, when you swear at anything and everything. When it comes to building morality in children, as a parent, you must stress on children the importance of an honest, simple and hard-working life. These three principles are in fact the basis of all morality in the world and once your child understands the importance of these three principles, it will be easier for him or her to take to a moral and righteous life later on.

Talk about choices and consequences

The sooner you have this talk with your child the better, because this is a concept that children generally don’t understand in the first go. For example, it confuses children to see that it is okay for you to yell at Dad, but they are not allowed to do so. Children don’t get the double standards involved.

So, the best way to reach out to your child and reiterate your point is to read books with fables, as such books always hinge on a choice made by the protagonist and its consequences. You can always develop the fable further, by asking your child what he or she would have done in the same situation and what could have happened as a result.

Don’t pass on your prejudices

It is human nature to judge, have opinions, preferences and prejudices. Having these prejudices doesn’t make you a bad person, but passing them on forcibly to your children by brain washing them doesn’t reflect too well on you as a parent.  This is because children are like an empty notebook; and as they grow, they start filling up the pages with their experiences, and it would be really selfish of you as a parent to try re-writing your life story in those empty pages.

Give your child a chance to discover life, the good, the bad and the sad, encourage him or her to make informed choices and convince them to stand by them even when the consequences are daunting. This is the only way your child can grow up to be a model, responsible person with a clear conscience and strong moral values.


This is a guest post by Grace. Grace is an expert associated with WiseOldSayings.com, a website accounting words of wisdom on all facets of life. The site charts the memorable and thought provoking, proving that sometimes it just best to rely on Wise Old Sayings.

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