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Talking Ethics With Your Children

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					Talking Ethics With Your Children
Children watch their parents. Children often model their own behavior
based on what they see their parents do.
Very recently a woman faced an ethical dilemma and didn't know what to
do. Her daughter is in high school and has a friend. The friend's mom
lied about their address so that her daughter could attend the school.
The first woman was very torn on what to do because she did not want her
own daughter to accidentally spill the beans or to be asked to lie.
These situations happen daily. Our children are faced with ethical
decisions they need to make. They will base their decisions on what has
been modeled to them.
Discuss ethics with your child from the time they are young. Ask
questions that cause them to think about what they might do in a given
situation. Often there are no right or wrong answers, but there is a lot
of room for discussion.
Ask your young child what he/she would do if they saw another child take
away a toy from a child playing with that toy. Would they step in? Would
they tell an adult? Would they ignore the situation completely?
Ask your school age child what he/she would do if they saw another
student copying their friend's paper. This might be a test or it might be
homework. Would they turn in the cheater? Would they say something to the
cheater? Would they mind their own business?
Ask your high schooler what they would do if they knew someone had been
drinking and that person wanted to then drive. Or what would they do if
they knew a friend was sneaking out at night behind their parents' back?
These are all questions of ethics. Different families will find answers
to these questions in different places.
I believe it is so important to role play like this over the years so
that when faced with ethical decisions your child has a base for making
these types of decisions.
Audrey Okaneko is mom to two girls. She can be reached at
audreyoka@cox.net or visited at http://www.todays-parent.com

				
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posted:10/14/2010
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