When raising a child, we teach them so many things both through our words and through our actions. Often times, we don’t even think about teaching things that are nonetheless imparted through our daily activities. How to teach the difference between right and wrong is one of things that you do over a long period of time through both words and actions. Knowing the difference between right and wrong is something that will help guide your child for the rest of their lives. It is important to give them a firm foundation as a child so the difference will be one they naturally feel in their gut throughout their lives.
Knowing The Difference Between Right And Wrong
Model Good Behavior
Make sure that your child sees you making good decisions and modeling good behavior for them. For example, if you find that you accidentally took something from the store without paying for it, return and pay for it. If you accidentally hurt someone’s feelings, make sure that you apologize and try to make amends. Children learn a great deal from their parents, and this helps them figure out how they should behave. They deserve a good role model.
Punish and Explain
Though it is necessary to punish a child for things that they have done wrong, you should also sit down and make sure that they know why things are wrong. For example, if you catch a child taking money from your purse, make sure that they know why it was wrong. Otherwise, all that they really understand is that they should not get caught. Explain to them the fact that that was money that they did not earn, and that it would betray your trust. Make sure you share your family values to help them determine what is right and wrong before they make poor choices. The punishment does not have to be severe but the first time they make a mistake but they need to understand that wrong choices will have negative results.
Think Through Consequences
Small children do not really understand why they should not do everything that they want to do. You as the parent need to help them learn how to think outside of themselves and be aware of consequences. You might want to try to role play through different situations. If you see your child bullying someone else, stop them and later, ask how they would feel if someone did the same thing for them. My grandmother’s golden rule was always, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The thing to remember about children is that they are not perfect. They start out only with the information that you give them and that they absorb, and they understand things imperfectly. Keep this in mind and be gracious when they make mistakes and are genuinely sorry. You can teach kids to be forgiving by being forgiving yourself.
Take a moment to think about your child and their sense of right and wrong. Talking to the experts in your local area can help you decide on ways to keep your child on the straight and narrow. Remember that children need guidance and that they are always going to be learning and looking to you for more information.