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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Mentoring Morality in Kids

safetykidsOr, How Not to Throw Your Kids to the Wolves.

School has started or is about to start in most parts of the country. We did not send our children to religious or private schools. We definitely did not send them to public schools. Could they survive either? Definitely.

Would they come out unscathed? No.

Religious schools have often become the dumping grounds for parents experiencing problems with their children, the reform schools du jour, you could say. I’m acquainted with teachers in several School-Kidsand they say that they would not send their own kids there. That’s a far cry from what we once thought religious schools were all about—a great education, along with super values being imparted.

Public school can be just fine… or the biggest mistake of your life. Your children might be surrounded by unsavory elements for 6+ hours each day. The roll of the dice.

Let’s put it this way: would you place your jewelry in a room of people straight off the street, a mixed bag that might include potential thieves? Think about it.

5385618010_23505b6bee_zLook at what happened at Old Dominion University which made national news. Sigma Nu fraternity hung sexually suggestive bed-sheet signs announcing: “Rowdy and Fun—Hope Your Baby Girl is Ready for a Good Time”, “Freshman Daughter Drop-Off”, and more. Sexual harrassment, along with on-campus violence and college suicides make it yet another of the most dangerous places to send your kids.

So what’s a parent to do? Lock up your children in the closet and let them out when they’re 45?

Personally, I believe in letting out the line little by little. We homeschool for a variety of reasons, home-school 2from ESL issues in the beginning, to the quality of education, to yes, morality. We don’t want the state exposing them to whatever we wouldn’t personally recommend for them.

As in potentially deadly ideas foisted on a half-cooked brain. Believe me, they can come up with enough crazy ideas all their own.

So how do parents mentor, or teach, morality? How do you instill values until they become the children’s own?

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Teach, teach, teach. Everything is a teaching moment, from news items about other young people who made good, or not-so-good choices.
  1. Ask questions. Get their input. They know what you want to hear, but see how they respond to hypothetical questions. Help them sort through ideas and address their honest reactions. Get them talking.
  1. Keep them away from bad influences. Everyone has friends who have gone astray, but if that’s all they see, up close and personal, it’s like a criminal going to prison and learning how to commit new crimes. Monitor all input—from movies, to TV, to internet, to music, to live human beings.
  1. Expose them to inspiring influences of the highest quality. Youth groups, sports teams, guys and girls in your local church or synagogue—when properly supervised (don’t just drop them off), your son or daughter might form some really great relationships. Show them kids involved in community projects and public service and it could rub off. Don’t forget that young adults in their late teens and early 20s are a good resource for mentoring, as well.
  1. Pray. Never underestimate the power of prayer. God will help you even when you feel that all hope is lost in raising a moral child.

Teaching-Children-Prayer-TipsThe fact that you’re trying to instill morality says a lot. That may be half the battle. Our world needs good people and this is going to be personally time-consuming and some days, okay, many days, you may wonder if it’s worth it to constantly swim upstream.

It is. It’s worth it. When absolute strangers in public places comment on how delightful your children are, it will give you a lift. Keep on it. Your kids may even thank you one day.

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