Children’s moral education begins at home

Parents should be the first teachers of children, as they can infuse moral teachings into the brain of their children during the pre-primary period, making them well prepared to face the challenges of the outside world.

Social scientists said a mother should play the pioneering role in this regard as children are more inclined to their mothers and also the other caregivers acting in the parental roles. Whatever children learn at the initial stage of their life will remain ever inscribed in their minds.

While parents generally are filled with anticipation about their children’s unfolding personalities, many also lack knowledge about how best to provide for them. Becoming a parent is usually a welcomed event, but in some cases, parents’ lives are fraught with problems and uncertainty regarding their ability to ensure their child’s physical, emotional, or economic well-being.

A society benefits greatly from providing parents with supports they need to raise healthy and thriving children. In short, when parents and other caregivers are able to support young children, their lives are enriched, and society is advantaged by their contributions. To ensure positive experiences for their children, parents draw on the resources of which they are aware or that are at their immediate disposal.

Of course, teachers should take on some pastoral duties, but they cannot shoulder the entire social burden that comes from irresponsible parenting. Teachers are trained primarily to teach. They cannot effect radical social change alone at the chalk face.

If the father or the mother always solves their children’s problems aggressively with a bad temper, they will gradually get accustomed to such behaviour. At schools, they will pick quarrels with schoolmates and become bad tempered and unruly, causing themselves and their parents a lot of trouble.

The reverse also holds true. If there is sincerity, good understanding and decent behaviour at home, and the family problems are tolerated with open mindedness, children follow the same pattern. Parental behavior and also the same of other family members affect the children more than words. If the children don’t hear any backbiting on the part of their parents, they seldom tend to backbite about others themselves. Such is the case with telling lies, jealousy and emulation.

Another important point is that if parents act in a way other than what they say, children lose confidence in them and don’t take whole-heartedly the advice their parents give. This is the lesson of hypocrisy and multiple personality that is in fact no personality.

“Let us bear this always in mind that in moral education, children pay more attention to what they see than to what they hear. Hence to avoid mental confusion for children, there should be consistency between what they see and what they hear,” says Mrs. Sitara Khatun, a mother of two illustrious daughters.

From childhood, one has to try to form good habits through practice. The first habits that are formed in man or woman are the lasting ones. In the pre-elementary school period, moral education is received through forming good habits, for children don’t yet have such mental growth as to assimilate moral rules and standards. But in the elementary schools, children are apt to receive moral education directly.

As children grow up, they should be given opportunities to practise certain good acts repeatedly so that good habit maybe inculcated in them. Social and emotional development includes the child’s experience, expression, and management of emotions and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others. It encompasses both intra- and interpersonal processes.

Octogenarian Hamiduddin Sarker, a father of four highly established children, said the core features of emotional development include the ability to identify and understand one’s own feelings, to accurately read and comprehend emotional states in others, to manage strong emotions and their expression in a constructive manner, to regulate one’s own behavior, to develop empathy for others, and to establish and maintain relationships.

The directives as noted in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh have been taken into consideration in the formulation of National Education Policy. The UN Child Rights Convention that emphasizes ensuring of rights of children in every member state has been a further area of consideration. The primary objectives of this policy are directed toward the cultivation of human values.

Moral education will help children to grow up as non-communal, patriotic and efficient persons free from superstitions. It is the only education that can equip the nation to acquire the qualities and skills to further strengthen Bangladesh to work with equal capacity and pace with the global community.