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Parenting Skills - Turning Your Kids into Independent Thinkers with Moral Dilemmas

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Moral dilemmas occur in each of our lives.

The quality of our living can be enhanced by the choices we make. As parents, we are in unique positions to help our children live quality lives.

Do your children choose well when faced with moral dilemmas? Would you like to prepare them to make good choices? Find out how to teach them to be make good decisions and build character too.

Recently my adult son, Brian, who is a young man now, asked:

"Mom, remember how you always asked me when another kid was shamed, hurt, or bullied, 'How would you feel if that happened to you?'"
"Yes. Why?" I asked.
"That really made me think," he said.
Parents, that's exactly what you want your kids to do - think!

Listen. I know child-rearing is difficult. I know the disappointment when your child makes poor choices, skips out on chores, or treats others badly.

During my years as a child counselor, I created ways for kids to think, discuss, and make ethical decisions. My goal was to help them become independent thinkers rather than crowd followers. Now you can help your kids become independent thinkers by discussing moral dilemmas.

3 qualities moral dilemmas build in kids:

• Family values
• Respect toward others
• Logical Thinking

Respect, honesty and empathy can evolve from frequent dilemma discussions.

Discuss this moral dilemma with your kids:

You are supposed to be home by dark. It is almost dark. You and your friend are in the middle of an exciting video game. If you left right now, you'd barely get home in time. What will you do? Why?

Have your children to discuss this dilemma with you and with each other. When you listen to their answers, ask yourself, is their reasoning logical? Do they respect the parent's guidance about coming home before dark? Are they developing your family values? You'll know whether your own code of ethics is sinking in. When your kids discuss moral dilemmas, you help them grow with character.

Make sure your moral dilemmas include:

• Problems in school
• Problems at home
• Problems with friends

Create and discuss moral dilemmas before real life problems happen. Get your kids to think about others' feelings. Get them to think logically. Get them to think right about wrong. Get them to be independent thinkers.

One more thing, when your kids discuss moral dilemmas, they'll be thinking larger than themselves. They'll be creating a code of ethics with solutions. Why not raise kids with character? Discuss dilemmas today.


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