Q3) How to ensure our children grow up to be a morally ethical person?
There are many factors influencing your child’s moral development and some of which are outside the family and beyond your control. As such, no one can guarantee that all of his or her children will be morally ethical. I have met heart broken parents who in spite of giving their best as parents, are in pain from their children’s moral choices.
With that said, when we make no efforts at all to teach moral values to our children, it is as good ensuring poor moral development in your child. Whereas an intentional effort to inculcate values increases the chances of your child developing morally upright.
Here are some broad principles in developing a child’s moral values:
a. Teach them moral values from young, describing what each value means and the benefits of having each of these values
b. Highlight examples of these values witnessed in others
c. Whenever you see your child doing what is right, whether intentionally or unknowingly, affirm your child’s right actions and attach a value description to it in your affirmation.
d. Live the morals you are teaching your child. Morals are better “caught” than “taught.” Ask for forgiveness if you have shown a bad example.
This answer is written by Edwin Choy, the co-founder of Centre for Fathering. He has been married for 33 years to Lay Koon and is a father of 4 children from 21-29. Edwin’s work involves preparing couples for marriage, counselling, giving talks and conducting workshops on marriage enrichment, parenting, fathering, work-life balance and solution focused programmes for the work place. He also appeared numerous times on radio and conferences to speak to thousands on fathering and parenting issues in Singapore.
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