At some point, every child understands a moral directive and does the opposite. This is a defining moment in the child’s life. This is when they (subconsciously) ask us, So what? Why should I do the right thing? What difference does it make? We are keenly aware that we give the answer to these questions by what we do ourselves more than by what we tell them.
Reflect for a moment on why you do the right thing.
Why do you obey traffic laws? Why do you tell the truth? Why do you follow instructions from flight attendants? Why do you file your taxes with honesty?
- to avoid unpleasant consequences?
- it’s how I was raised
- I draw on spiritual strength
- it gets me more of what I want
- to get to heaven?
- because __ said so (the law, the boss, the church)
When we take time to reflect on the meaning of our choices, we become clear on the direction we are giving children.
Your internal motive for why you do what you do shapes, both directly and indirectly, the framework your child uses to answer, “So what? Why should I?” That message becomes part of their hard-wiring for years to come.
- At some point, every child hears a moral directive and does the opposite, a defining moment in the child’s life. Click to Tweet
- When we reflect on the meaning of our choices, we become clear on the direction we are giving our kids. Click to Tweet