How Do You Teach Morals and Values to Your Child?

Updated on January 11, 2018
M.A. asks from Schenectady, NY
13 answers

I read somewhere that morals and values determine a lot of our childrens future.. The choices that they will make, and path they will end upon etc etc.... ... ONE DAY, I looked at my 7 and 9 year old playing their Ipad.. and right next to them, I saw my brothers 5 year old, who was staying for the weekend, playing with Teddy bears.. The 6 year old was teaching the teddy bear, that the one teddy bear should not like the other teddybear because it was beautiful, it should be because that she was a good teddy bear on the inside!!! I was in shock!! :-) ( because this was from a story about a prince a lion and falcon, simple fairytale bought on net, I won't give full name) BUT then I looked at my 2 kids, playing games... And suddenly I thought to my self..How are these 2 troublemakers, learning about morals and values on an online game?? AND how are they developing their imagination in scenarios already made up games.. I want to know, how you do it??, I clearly found out that simple fairytales are a good way to incorporate this...

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answers from Dallas on

Most of the time that behavior is learned at home via watching the parents and how they model good and bad behavior.

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answers from Boston on

You do it every day in daily life. You don't set aside a "values/morals" time like you do for meals and brushing teeth.

Fairy tales aren't always harmless - they are filled with violence (ogres, monsters, evil people) and sexism (the women are always helpless until the men come along, the princesses are only princesses because of some prince, etc.). And on line games are very risky. Be sure you have massive parental controls on the iPad and check to see what the kids are doing. If you are calling your own kids "troublemakers" (did I understand you correctly?), then I'd spend a lot more time supervising and reassessing what they've learned so far.

What's more useful in teaching morals is to treat people decently, speak as nicely about them behind their backs as you do to their faces, and engage in productive activities with your children (collect donations for the food pantry and take them with you to deliver, clean through toys and books and clothes to donate to others - and involve them in it, not just in throwing things in a box that you deliver, etc.). See your local children's librarian for appropriate books (not just stuff you found on the internet and don't even want to mention here), and talk to the adult section librarian about parenting books or classes to help you navigate this.

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answers from Chicago on

Modeling by the parents is the most important. Books and stories can also help. I used examples with explanations whenever possible. Such as, if we saw bad behavior somewhere, I would point it out in private, discuss how/why it was wrong and teach alternatives to the poor behavior. I also used this with their own behavior, clearly calling it out, explaining how it was not a good choice, and offering other ways to deal with the issue or problem.

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answers from New York on

They watch you. It's how you react when someone cuts you off on the road, it's how you help an elderly person load his groceries into his car, it's how you react when you're flight is delayed, it's how you react when you have to wait 45 minutes at the doctor, it's how you react when they spill a gallon of milk on the kitchen floor, it's how you react when they come to you crying because of something that happened at school...

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answers from Seattle on

a LOT of things determine our children's future.
That's weird.
I teach morals and values by what I say and what I do. In everyday life. My interactions with people, wherever I am. I also talk about what's happening our area, injustices I see. We talk about politics, religion, family.
My kids play a LOT of video games and watch tv. I also make sure to have time with them without electronics to make sure that we are connecting about the important stuff.

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answers from Norfolk on

How were they taught to you?

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answers from San Francisco on

Usually their morals and values come from what their parents model. So if they see you doing something other than what you are preaching, it won't work. Be a good person, and they probably will too. And that can include reading nice fairy tales to them. It wouldn't hurt to limit the time spent on their iPad.

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answers from New York on

As others have said - model behaviors you'd like to see in your children. My only daughter is 18 now and I'd consider her to have good morals. It might be as easy as verbalizing what you're doing and why when the opportunity presents itself. Examples: Oh, I left the store without paying for the item that was under my purse in the cart - let's go back and make sure we pay for it. I'm making this chicken soup for my friend who is sick so she'll feel better. The Moms and I are volunteering at school so you kids can have a great carnival. I'm buying extra food to donate to the church's food pantry so it can be given to people who can't afford enough food.

Looking back there were many many times when these lessons presented themselves. Kids don't need to be attached to a screen 24/7. Get them involved in something other than serving their own needs and the rest will fall into place. Good Luck.

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answers from Portland on

We're teaching 27/4 ... how we handle ourselves and treat others.



answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter’s and I would typically read 2 short stories from the “Chicken Soup for the Kids Soul” book. The stories had lots of life lessons and provided a starting point for us to talk about real life issues, people feelings, having empathy for others etc.



answers from Anchorage on

By being the example you want them to follow. We are teaching our children every day in all our actions. If you want them to be kind show them kindness, and show them you being kind to others even when you get nothing in return, explain to them that it takes nothing from them to be kind. If you think the screens are distracting them from these important lessons then start making screen time the exception and put the focus back on family time.



answers from Chicago on

That's the purpose and function of fairy-tales: to teach morals and values.

You teach morals and values by modeling behavior that exemplifies your beliefs. You teach morals and values by gently suggestion how we behave in this house (we use nice hands and nice words. Chairs are for sitting, etc). You teach morals and values by discussion values with your children. ( in this situation, how should you respond? can you think of a good way to resolve this conflict).

You are always teaching morals and values --even if you do nothing. Everything we do exemplifies values.


answers from Washington DC on

by example.

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