What can you do as a parent to draw some clear lines in the sand as far as morality is concerned? First, be what you expect from them. In other words, practise what you preach. If you are expecting honesty from your children then be truthful yourself; don’t make them lie for you. For example if the phone rings and it is someone you don’t want to talk to at that time, don’t have them cover for you by lying. Secondly, help them develop a conscience. If you hear them lying or catch them at it, then stop what you are doing and discuss what they have just done. Tell them it is inappropriate behaviour and that it could really hurt themselves and others. Read them some stories with lying for example as the theme. As you come to the end of the story follow through by discussing the moral dilemma that the main character created by lying. Ask questions about what the person could have done differently and what were the consequences of their actions. Children need to be taught about cause and effect.
Children need to learn respect for people around them and they do that best when taught at home by good role models. Take the lead in developing good character in your children’s lives. Then, society will reap the rewards of your hard work!