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66

This book works differently for people at different stages of their lives. The lesson for young children reading this book, I believe, is about unconditional love. Children need to know and trust that their parents will always be there for them, loving them without question, even if they need them their whole lives. You could say to your young child, "I'm ...


54

What you should not do is to simply talk badly about a favourite story of his. What you could do instead is put the story into perspective - and don't do this with this fairy tale alone, but with as many as possible. If you do this as an "early start to literary studies" you might actually do him a favour. Topics to cover could be: Core message or ...


39

If you want her to have a strong moral compass, you'll have to explain (when she is old enough) why you do it and let her make up her own mind. As you say, a lot of people do it. Often, this means that a lot of people don't consider it to be much of a crime. That also means it's a very interesting way for children to learn about how to judge moral choices. ...


25

You raise them with morals by being good parents and instilling your own values upon them. Morals don't require some form of sanctioned text books.


25

Is there any possible harm, if I tell my kid now about the hidden meaning of Cinderella? To a certain extent the "hidden meaning" you describe is a somewhat dystopian outlook on relationships. In general, it's considered unnecessary that a 10-year-old know the "cold hard truth" about everything. I don't think most people make decisions in their adult ...


25

I will answer this from the point of view of, once upon a time, the child in this situation. I don't know if any of this applies to your friend's child as I don't know him, but perhaps it will for others in a similar situation if nothing else. I was the 'perfect' student as a child; always the teacher's pet, always the top of the class, always wanting ...


17

Listen and sympathize with the child. "Oh dear. That doesn't sound good. I bet you felt bad afterwards". Then discuss the situation. Ask why the child thinks the teacher did that, what the child can do in future. This is supportive and encouraging the child to develp their own strategies. You can mention the fact that sometimes people make mistakes. You ...


16

I think the only difference teaching morals as a non-religious parent is that you explain the reason FOR the moral, too. Religious parents may or may not. You don't just do onto your neighbor as you'ld have him do to you. You do it so everybody stays happy and nobody cries. It doesn't have to be just "because Jesus said so" or "it's written in...". ...


16

The lesson in The Giving Tree is not from the tree's point of view. It is from the boy's. The reader will more immediately identify with the boy, after all (if a child, in particular) - and so the lesson is to be aware of people giving to you, and be grateful for it, rather than continually demanding. The boy doesn't feel happy, after all, until the end - ...


13

The short answer is that there is absolutely no way to accurately quantify the extent of influence parenting has on children. There are just too many variables. Genetics, birth order, familial influences outside of parents (siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, etc.), geographic/regional, educational, and peer interactions all play a part. ...


12

There potentially could be harmful outcomes of going into detail that is ahead of a ten-year-old's comprehension/experience/understanding: At that age, children are still children, and despite the media trying to persuade us otherwise, the world is a very safe place for the majority of people, and relationships, while rarely perfect are generally positive. ...


11

I don't know your son, but I think if you started in on this kind of analysis of a fairy tale with him, within about 30 seconds he'd be saying, "Dad, can I go watch TV now?" I had plenty of times with my kids when we'd watch a cartoon or read a book and I'd make some comment about implications or interpretation that resemble the sort of things you say here. ...


11

I'm just going to focus on what you are going to teach your child with this. Any legal issues or discussions about if piracy is wrong are for another time and place. Whether you should stop now or later or ever depends on what you want to teach your daughter. Eventually she will pick up on it. The longer you keep doing it, the easier it will be for her ...


10

I think one of the main benefits of religion is that it gives you an external framework to help determine what is the right course of action that isn't susceptible to your own personal whims and changing desires. This can be attained by other means if you are not religious. I am Catholic but I also tend to go by a coda loosely based on deontology and ...


10

Personally, the best I've seen is to ask question. This process can also be done after the kid see a t.v. show or a movie. Even after playing in the playground. What did you think about this person? Do you think that person was mean when they did this? Why do you think they did that? What would you do if it happen to you? It also makes it more engaging ...


9

I think this book describes the relationship between mother nature and humans, and quite accurately too. We use the earth in exactly that way. We mine oil, harvest lumber, drive cars, just use, use, use, often without giving the source a second thought. And the earth simply allows us to take. I do not think it models human-human relationships at all, and ...


9

The Giving Tree, like any creative fiction, is open to interpretation. That's the beauty of it. People have interpreted it as you did, and even as satire--not a children's book at all. Some think the tree is God. You see what I mean? It sounds like your son enjoys it, but you're looking for someone to refute your own adult interpretation of it. The problem ...


9

First, my recommendation would be the toy goes away. Just because it was paid for doesn't mean it isn't stealing; she stole from you instead of the store. Keeping the toy implies that the offense wasn't all THAT severe. The problem with punishment here is that the time frame between the offense and the punishment might be kind of long for it to really ...


9

I would address the accuracy of the name calling first. Was he shushing the noisy people, or announcing loudly that they should shush in order to get a teacher's attention? What was his true motivation? If it was simply to tell them what is right, I would say something like "the teacher was mistaken (it happens) and thought you were trying to get them in ...


8

It sounds like you are having difficulty because you were raised in a religion that used scripture to support moral learning, and now having turned away from religion—but not necessarily your values—you feel you need an equivalent in order to teach your children appropriate behavior. It may help you to think of religion in a more secular form: religion ...


7

This is something Alice (who is quite a bit younger), as well as a number of students (who were also, mostly middle school students) I have had have struggled with. Let me preface this by saying, I know Beofett is asking with a friend in mind, I am going to write this as if I am speaking directly to the parent just for the sake of simplicity. Kids do ...


6

Kids are very good at putting their own spin on the situation and I feel there are a few things that seem out of place... One of the things children need to learn is when it is appropriate to help and what help is appropriate. As someone who deals with a large group of children regularly myself I can tell you the noise of one or more children trying to 'be ...


5

I think the first step is to find out why they made the decision to cheat. This isn't to justify the decision, but rather better understand what drove them to this (e.g. laziness, desperation, peer pressure, etc.) so that you can tailor your response. I feel that an older sibling shares a (small) portion of the parental responsibility: they have the ...


5

Use the world as your classroom. Model the behaviour you want your children to emulate. When you see someone who needs help, and the kids are with you, help the person and then explain to your kids what you saw and why you decided to help. When you see a situation where intervening might be more negative than not stepping in, explain that to your kids. ...


5

Much of what the Dalai Lama has written provides wonderful guidelines for living and for being a human being, without tying into any particular religion (even his own). His new book Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World proposes a secular ethics which aims to go beyond religion (or be independent of it). I also found his The Art of Happiness very ...


5

First, I will answer you direct question: No, there is no upside to talking to young children about racial or ethnic groups. Now, why do I say such a thing? Because I believe the question is flawed by its very nature. Let me elaborate. I have blue yes. You have brown. Should I talk to a young child about differences in eye color? I have red hair. You ...


5

In my mind, it's not really about religion or beliefs; it's about values and you surely have values regardless of what you (not) believe in. I am not religious and I don't use a book or a spokesperson to tell me what is right and wrong, and why. I have a "gut feeling," an inner sense that directs me. Most of this is totally obvious and straightforward to ...


4

I think non-religious households teach morals in much more understandable way than religious households. Religion says - you do x because god/scripture/prophet/whoever says you must, and if you don't you will be punished after death. Some of the rules may actually be unethical or immoral by other religions - which can cause problems. Lack of religion ...


4

You could also treat this as a chance to understand literature. Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast are medieval mutations of the ancient legend of Psyche and Cupid, in which the heroine (Psyche) has a much more active role. Cinderella's conflict with her step mother was a medieval update of Psyche's struggle against the jealous Venus to win the hand of ...


3

I don't know why people think the two things must go together. I know plenty of highly religious people that are not moral people as well as non-religious people who are. As others have said, be a good example, talk to them about their decision making and talk to them about your decision making so you are modeling even your thinking for them. If you are ...



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