Teaching your child right from wrong may be easier said than done. There are so many factors to consider when teaching your children. As a result, sometimes you are unable to send the message home, and your children are not able to grasp the concepts that you re trying to teach. Sometimes children knowingly do what is wrong, it is true. But there are many times when parents are unable to successfully teach their children right from wrong. It is this common problem of teaching your children right from wrong that will be discussed in this article.
The first and possibly most important thing to consider when teaching your children right from wrong is their age. At certain stages in life, principles of right and wrong are impossible to teach. Toddlers, for example, are able to understand very few concepts and the ones that they are able to understand are extremely simple. These young children understand simple responses like “no”, but if you were to try to explain why the rule is in place they are unlikely to understand.
As children reach kindergarten age, they are better able to understand that there are consequences to their actions. Children at this age understand that doing right pleases their parents and doing wrong makes them upset and may lead to punishment. Children at this age and for the next several years are extremely impressionable. They will look to their friends, parents, or a peer for an example of how they think is an acceptable way to act.
As children continue to grow and graduate from the elementary school age and begin to experience other physiological changes, they become bolder with experimentation. Experts say that having a firm foundation established in a child’s early years is essential if they are to escape form adolescence relatively unscathed. If your child is unable to hold on to the values that you have taught them concerning right and wrong into their teenage years and you are concerned with the lack of communication that may be present, professional help may be the only option.
Once a child reaches the age of eighteen, they have usually had the experiences and been tested in their judgment to the point that they are relatively comfortable with their understanding of right and wrong and it will be very difficult to manipulate these principles dramatically.
So you understand that your child needs to learn right from wrong in their youth, but you may be unsure about which methods work best. For those of you in this situation there are two suggestions. The first is to learn how to control your emotional response to the actions of your children. Children are very observant and will therefore take most of their behavioral cues from you. Young children will not want to disappoint their parents so making sure that you maintain eye contact on the level of the child during a teaching moment is very powerful. As children age and learn how to manipulate the responses of their parents, it becomes even more important to control your emotions and your responses so that your children know that they cannot control your actions. Both you and your children need to know that you are in control at all times.
Ultimately poor behavior or negative influences that are hindering your child’s ability to learn right from wrong may be a result of their environment. Some children have a difficult time learning right form wrong because of the negative influence of friends or their situation in life. If this is the case you may need to take action to change the negative environment. You are the one who is in control of your children. Sometimes you will need to take more significant actions towards assuring that you properly teach your children the difference between right and wrong.