Friday, November 5, 2010

The Moral of The Story Part 1: Teaching our Sons

A very interesting conversation took place at work this week. It revolved around the responsibility of teaching your children morals. The two ideas were: A) Send them too church because they know how to teach good morals. and B) It is up to us as parents to teach our children morals. We shouldn't leave it up to someone else. A very intense debate took place and I just sat back an listened. Both sides presented well said and not so well said arguments. I have been thinking about this all week, and I have even talked with a few people about it since then. I think the topic is a great one and I wanted to write a little bit of my view on this and ask others to share theirs in the comments section. Who is responsible for teaching our children about morals?

I am not here to tread on anyone's beliefs, any religion, or any person. I was raised in a Christian home and my children are raised in a Christian home. Morals have been taught to my sister and I since a very early age, both in the home, and at church. Many families, no matter what religion they have their faith in, teach their children morals based on a religious standpoint. They also rely on their places of worship to teach their children morals as well. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this in my opinion but that is all the time I wish to spend on the religion aspect of it. Where should good morals start? Who should be the first responsible for teaching your children about morals? It has always been my opinion that teaching anything related to core values should primarily come from the parents. I cannot speak to what it is for a Mom to teach a child. In the next few posts to come I will speak a little of what I think it means, at least to me, to be a Dad, and teaching children about values, morals, and core ethics. Today: Teaching our Sons

On being a gentleman, the first views our sons get are from us. They learn about how to act in public, how to treat a lady, all from us first. I believe that it is important that dads be the first teachers of such things as how to be a gentleman.. We want our sons to be great people. To be gentlemen, to be courteous towards others, and to be loved by others. To be these things though, they must learn how to treat others. That is where Dad comes in. It is great and wonderful to be involved as a dad. Dads all over the world are becoming more active. They are not just father's and gene donors anymore. They are caregivers, stay at home dads, working dads, and all around being "That Dad". We teach our sons to play ball, to ride a bike, to put their clothes on by themselves. We can also start laying a moral foundation for when they are older.

As dads, we can be the first in line to teach our sons about how to a better man as they grow up. I want my son to know about how to respect people, how to not judge, and how to treat each person with kindness. I want him to be strong in his convictions and not let disagreement turn into anything more. I want to be the one my son learns from when learning how to treat a lady. My son should be able to look at me and my relationship with my wife to learn how to treat his special someone later in life. I should be able to show him through action about how to be courteous, respectful, and understanding. I'm not always perfect at this, but I can learn, and in turn teach my son what I have learned.

Now it is important to know that things are not always going to turn out the way we hope for them to. Our children may not turn out the way we hope for them to. I know that in the course of my life so far, things didn't turn out exactly how my parents would have wanted them to. Yet, they always loved me unconditionally and continued to be role models for me. We can teach our sons everything we know about morals and ethics. We can be great living examples of what kind of man we hope for them to be. However, things may not turn out the way we want. As dads, unconditional love is a must, and one of the most core values anyone can learn. No matter where life takes my son, my unconditional love for him will always show. I can show him what it is to be a good husband, to be a good dad, and to be an all around good guy. Ultimately it will be up to him to use those teachings or to disregard them. No matter, I still consider it my job to be the first person my son learns these things from.

What do you think? Who should be teaching our sons about how to be great men? Where should their primary examples come from? Comment and share your thoughts. Be watching Monday as I talk a little bit about Teaching our Daughters.


KrellPW said...

Completely agree that it starts in the home. The parents both teach morals. But your point of a father teaching, a son to be a responsible, caring gentleman is well taken. We have to lead by example.

Ordinary Dad said...

Even if a parent tries to 'leave it up to the professionals' at church, kids will still learn their morals from their parents. If contact is influence, then a youth pastor or sunday school teacher only has contact with kids a few hours a week. Parents have way more influence on their kids, whether they take advantage of that or not.

Anonymous said...

I think that a father/parents should be responsible for teaching pretty much ALL of a moral background. Morality based on religion seems very strange to me, because it isn't internal. That is doing the right thing because someone tells you that you should. Or a big book tells you that you should.

I believe in instilling the internal morals. Teaching my children to think about others feelings, to consider how they would feel in the same situation. Asking my kiddos whether it is right to do something that would hurt others, or would hurt themselves, or that doesn't feel right to them. Conscience, consideration, intelligence, empathy, those are the things that I appeal to.

Kids are smart: they can make the right choices if we help them see and feel what IS right.

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