“E is for Ethics”

April 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Posted in Nonfiction, Reading with Kids | 3 Comments

I picked up this terrific little book, E is for Ethics: How to Talk to Kids About Morals, Values, and What Matters Most, in the hope that it would apply to all ages of children.  I suppose it could, but our sardonic 15-year-old is at a particularly cynical stage.  Mr. Corlett, if you can hear me, here is my plea for a similar book aimed at teenagers!

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I came into my step-daughter’s life when she was already 10 years old.  I’ve worked in as many subliminal messages as I can think of, from healthy eating to housework to academic focus, but ethics has proven the hardest.  If you’re a parent with young kids, run, do not walk, and pick up this book.  I think it’s impossible to reinforce these concepts too much.  Look around any time you go anywhere in public – especially in traffic – and ask yourself how many adults around you were shortchanged on ethical instruction as children.  Phew.

We’re reading Sophie’s World this month, though right now we’re still in the materialist philosophers.  So far we’ve learned (from our kid) that you’re a good person if you think you are, and you’re the only person who can decide whether you live a good life.  So evidently if you feel self-satisfied, that’s the only contribution you need to make to the world.  I guess all that self-esteem building education really works, huh?

If anyone has any suggestions for remedial moral training, please by all means pass them on.  I’m hoping it isn’t too late!


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  1. I just had a baby and am already stressed about this kind of thing. At least I can start while she’s young! As for remedial training, I know that my mom really liked Teaching Your Children Values by Richard and Linda Eyre.

    • Oh, thanks for the tip! I will look it up right away.

      The only comment I can really add for a new mom, considering I “had” mine when she was already a teenager, is that you wind up having to explain things a lot more often than you would suspect. Much of the time a kid is nodding along with a conversation without necessarily understanding a subject completely. Ethical quandaries would rank very highly on that list.

  2. I’ll have to add this to my next book order.

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