Munroe, K.A. (2000). Parenting and morality. S. Hamilton, MA: Center for Youth Studies.
Children need to be constantly reminded by parents, teachers, coaches, and other mentors that they are needed and cared about. All too often, children learn morality from people who are not good role models and have cloudy perspectives of the ways in which a person should behave.
“The irony of postmodern parenting,” writes sociologist David Popenoe in Seedbeds of Virtue, “is that just when science has produced a reliable body of knowledge about what makes decent kids, the key elements are disintegrating: the two-parent family, the church, the neighborhood school and a safe, nurturing community.”
William Damon, author of Greater Expectations, believes that the future looks promising. He explains, “My great hope is that we can actually rebuild our communities in this country around our kids. That’s one great thing about Americans: People love their kids. They’ve just lost the art of figuring out how to raise them.”
Parents today need to be more involved in their children’s lives. Adults must understand that children need to feel useful and loved. If parents spend more time with their kids, they will better be able to teach them important, life guiding values.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Do schools have the right to teach morality to their students? Is it only the parents’ responsibility?
- If parents do not teach their children values, whose responsibility is it?
- Who decides the correct set of values? What are the values that children need to learn?
- Should children be rewarded for “good” morality?
- Should the President and Congress should do more to help morality in schools?
- How does a parent or youth worker teach morality?
- Children need to learn right from wrong. They need to do more for others and have a greater understanding of self-discipline.
- Parents, youth leaders, and teachers do need to help instill morals to young people. Adults need to play a more active part in a child’s development, and to be available to them as good role models.
Kerry Ann Munroe
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