Moral Expectations: Where are Our P's and Q's?

August 24, 2011
Until going on maternity leave, I worked with pre-school children between the ages of 3 1/2 and 5. I would try to teach them not only about science, math, writing, and art, but also good morals and values: such as being polite, and standing-up for themselves and others.

What I have noticed, is that we have these moral expectations of our children, but many of us do not do them ourselves. We expect them to say "please" and "thank you", but couldn't be bothered to say "thank you" to the waiter that brings us our food. We expect them to stand-up for themselves, and others, but don't stand-up for ourselves when our boss is being a bully, or when we notice that someone is being treated in an unfair way.

How can we expect our children to live with such moral standards, when they don't have good teachers. It is one thing to tell a child to say "please", and it is another to show them how to say "please".


  1. You're so right! It's amazing what we parents learn about ourselves as we teach our kiddos. Hopefully we'll be smart enough to teach ourselves at the same time! Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  2. completely true! I was just talking about this with my hubby. I told my son, "we don't yell in this house," and two seconds later I was screaming for everyone to come to dinner! I just found you post on etsy, thanks for sharing!

  3. My parents were always very polite to everyone and they truly did set the example for me. They set the bar high for which I am truly grateful! Thank you for sharing!

  4. I am a strong believer in being a good example for my sons. Parents really need to "do the right thing" even if they're rushed for time and short on patience. I think it's the most important aspects of parenting, teaching our children "right from wrong".

  5. Nice way to put it Retro. I have no issues with this- I definitely raise my kids to be respectful and polite and do it myself. Same deal with sticking up for yourself- I'm just more of a fire cracker than my kids are so I have had to reign that in.

    Nice post!

  6. Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes the day just rolls over you and you neglect the really important stuff.


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