Category 3: Children, Character and Moral Education
A sampling of illustrations and teachings from:
Parenting from the Tree of Life - Part Two: Life, Children and Character
Moral Education: Introduction
Anne Marie Ezzo provides an introduction to moral education and the process of helping children internalize meaningful values, and then translate them into social skills.
Beliefs and Values: Distinctions That Lead to Difference Parenting
If nearly all parents believe in the same virtues, why is there such a behavioral disparity among children?" Answer: Just because parents believe in the same virtues, does not mean they all place the same value on those virtues.
Corollary Impact of Moral Training
One of the great misconceptions relating to moral education is the belief that it is an isolated category of training, and as such, has little influence on the other categories of development. To the contrary, instilling virtues, values, and behavioral expectations into children actually sets in place a critical cornerstone on which a child’s future success is established.
Moral Education Precept: One Standard Fits All
All children are different. Brothers and sisters can be as different from each other as the child next door. Every child has a unique temperament and personality combination that distinguishes him or her from all others. However, personality development and moral training are not the same thing. Here's an explanation of what that is true.
Introduction to the Human Conscience
Awakening within all children around three years of age is one of the most fascinating components of human development—the ability to make a distinction between right and wrong, honorable and shameful, and pleasing and offensive.
The Conscience and the "Moral Why"
Parents will often tell their children "what to do", but do not tell them "why they should do it." That distinction must be emphasized, because knowing how to do right and knowing why to do right are definitely two different things. The first speaks to moral action, the second to moral thought.
Introduction to Civility
If there is one word that can encapsulate the application side of moral truth, we believe the word is civility. This is not the generic “civility” tossed back and forth by political pundits, nor the conversations generated by public and private acts of incivility that makes more fodder for entertainment media. Rather, it is a civility deeply informed by the nature of God’s goodness.
Civility and Proper Greeting
Throughout the day, there are many opportunities to demonstrate civility. One of the more common expressions comes in the context of meeting and greeting someone for the first time. There are seven pro-social habits associated with greeting. Here is an example of civility put in practice.
Civility and Receiving a Compliment (Girls)
Teaching children how to graciously receive a compliment requires more than a simple "thanks". Here is an example of what we mean.
Civility and Receiving a Compliment (Boys)
Is there a different greeting and compliment protocol for boys than girls? Here's the answer.
Civility, Manners and Your Dinner Napkin
Teaching children how to properly use their napkin at mealtime is just one of the many mealtime protocols all children should learn.
Civility, Manners and Asking for Food
What is the proper way to ask for a food item during mealtime? Here is an example of what not to do, and what to do.
Civility, Manners and passing Salt and Peppers
Yes, even the passing of salt and pepper has a “good manners” protocol all children should learn.
Civility and Birthday Cards and Gift
Just as gift-giving cannot be detached from human emotions, neither can receiving a gift be detached from the emotions of the one who gave the gift. When it comes to birthdays, Christmas or special events, it is important that children learn how to communicate their appreciation to the giver of a gift.
Civility and the Grocery Shopping Cart
True civility considers and responds to the preciousness of others, even those who come behind us. There are times when we can pay courtesies forward. That is not always easy to do, because it requires that we anticipate a need, even before the moment of need arrives. Here is a common venue and common item we all can relate to—the grocery shopping cart.
Civility and Your Chair
Whether sitting in the board room, class room, at a restaurant, or at home, what happens to your chair once you push back from the table and stand up? Is it left out, or are you characterized by pushing it back to the table? Something so simple can reveal much about what is or is not in a person’s moral inventory.
What Earning Money Can Teach Children
Giving children an opportunity to earn money is a good way of helping them understand value and equity. Without gaining that understanding, it becomes difficult for children to fully appreciate the value of the item they are being asked to respect, including their own toys.