Oct 05 2010

Raising moral kids in an immoral world

Raising kids with morals in this world is a tough thing. A new article offered some tips...be a strong moral example, know and share your beliefs and use teachable moments. Got anything to add to the list? How do YOU raise a moral kid in an immoral world?

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10/5/2010 4:35:38 PM
Rose Taylor United States
Rose Taylor
Tell your kids that you trust them and dont write out their scedule for them. My parents tell me that they trust my decisions, but they talk to me when they think that i made a wrong choice I have only been grounded once and have never been in time out because of them jus talking to me instead of scolding me! I have learned so much from them!
10/5/2010 4:42:56 PM
Alyssa Barrett United States
Alyssa Barrett
I am a sophomore in college and my parents were not only there for my brothers and I, but were consistent in the little things that they did whether it be in front of us or behind closed doors.  When we saw them mess up, we knew they would get right back up and keep going.  They taught us to be firm in our beliefs and to not guess, but to look up scriptures that backed up a belief or concern that we had.  
10/5/2010 5:39:06 PM
hoosakitty United States
Do NOT compromise with the world. We are teaching our children to be Christians, so we cannot give the confusing example of accepting worldly ways...I know many people try to dance around it, but Halloween is an example.
10/5/2010 8:29:53 PM
Corinne H. United States
Corinne H.
You always want better for your kids but in this case you can't just look at them list the qualities you hope they will attain as they grow up. YOU have to become what you want your kids to be! Make a list of the characteristics you want to see in your kids, post them somewhere that you can see them every day, then work very hard at becoming that person yourself. Your kids will follow what they see modeled by you as parents! Smile
10/6/2010 12:43:36 PM
Phill Bauer United States
Phill Bauer
I was raised myself in a rather harsh environment. My parents exposed me to some things that I absolutely refuse to have in my home such as marijuana and even pornographic materials. The biggest thing that I struggled with was, even after seeking the help of a christian counselor and my pastor many years later because of anger issues, my parents felt the need to justify what I had been exposed to in my own home as a child. As a father now of two little girls, I feel so blessed that I am able to use these experiences that I unfortunately had to go through as motivation to keep drugs out of my home and closely monitor what my children see on tv. I have made amends with my parents, but it does still pain me to this day how someone can justify bringing something so sinful into our home and somehow be able to justify something so wrong. I swear that is one mistake I will do my darndest to never make.
10/6/2010 1:37:49 PM
Alyssa Pepper United States
Alyssa Pepper
I'm 16 and everyday I look at kids my age and wonder why they have to give into pure pressure and give into this world. But then I realize its because most of them probably don't know Jesus as their personal savior. I love Jesus with all my heart and I thank my parents for raising me right in the eyes of God, and I plan on living for Jesus the rest of my life!
10/6/2010 1:39:45 PM
Corban United States
Getting very involved in church in good to teach children and have them in a healthy environment. When I joined my church's youth group, I completely changed because i was in a healthy place and a place I could be myself and talk about God with other people my age. But the best way is to teach them what you do and don;t do at an early age.  
10/6/2010 1:43:29 PM
Barbara United States
I think you raise moral kids by being moral yourself.  I don't think as parents we can use the do as I say not as I do thing.  If we don't attempt morality how can we ask it of our children?  I tell my kid's every day when I drop them off at school to go be a light for someone and if I never do that myself what am I showing them.
10/6/2010 1:50:23 PM
Joe Sebastian United States
Joe Sebastian
Be a Parent...So often parents today want to pawn their children off on schools, sitters and grand parents. Its' not the responsibility of others to raise your child. I dont believe in the "it takes a tribe to raise a child" theory. My parents did it on their own with advice from their parents. Raise them in the word, have them in a God fearing church, take time to talk to them. I remember my mother would drop what ever she was doing if we really needed to talk to her, regardless if it was important to her, it was improtant to us, and we were loved by her so much she gave us that time. Now as a Father myself I try to carry those things into my Parenting.
10/6/2010 1:53:06 PM
Cheryl United States
Well, I have 6 FANTASTIC kids ranging in age from 10 1/2 years down to 6 months, and the best way we've found to raise them morally in a not so moral world is to not subject them to most of the world's ways.  For example, they participate in City sports leagues, boy scouts, etc., but as far as the media or worldly trends go, they don't watch television, listen to worldly music, or wear today's trendy clothes.  It gets tricky of course to find modest yet modern clothing for our girls, but we do it.  They LOVE K-Love, and they have fantastic friends from church , scouts, RA's and GA's, etc., so it's really not that hard.  I think the idea is surrounding your kids with positive people that will offer good influence and being an active part of everything they participate in.  We talk, and we talk A LOT, and about everything!  When they ask questions...we answer.  Parenting isn't always easy, but that's how we've been able to raise moral kids.  Know what they are listening to.  Know what they are watching.  Know who their friends are and who their friend's parents are.  And most importantly, pay attention to the things that you might not think they are noticing...because kids are bright...and most likely, even if you don't think they'll notice, they will ;)  Kids pick up on EVERYTHING!  Anyway,  maybe I'm a bit biased, but my kids are pretty awesome!!
10/6/2010 1:56:15 PM
Tierney Pruitt United States
Tierney Pruitt
I'm not a parent, but I have been raised in a Christian home all my life. I'm 18 years old college student and I can proudly say that I have high morals and I'm going to keep them that way. My parents have helped me grow as a person in so many ways and keep strong standards all my life. No matter how hard life has gotten, hearing cursing all around school and as a girl being encouraged by the media to dress immodestly and act worldly, my parents have always kept me grounded. They pointed out that if I gave into the world's standards that I would not only displease God, but I would not like myself. I am truly thankful for their constant support and encouragement to keep my morals high. They have saved me from many regrets.
10/6/2010 1:56:22 PM
Lissette Bednarek United States
Lissette Bednarek
My husband and I pray and with God's help admit when we are wrong.  Also we do activities like the compliments(Be intentional).  This is when each of us goes around the table and gives a genuine compliment to each person seated.  This is amazing when we have company also.  The children see the impact on people who might not have ever been given a compliment.
10/6/2010 1:57:15 PM
J United States
take kids on ministry projects or mission trips in areas where they can minister to people who have made bad decisions & they can see how jesus works all things for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
burney ca
10/6/2010 1:59:01 PM
Lenitakey1 United States
Raising children in an immoral world can get frustrating. But, I learned that just because the "Smith's kids" are doing it does not mean my children will do it. In our home we keep God's word as the ground rules for everything. This is not easy, Ill tell you. But, at the end of the day I know where my children are, I know there friends, and they respect our rules for the house. We also respect their opinions and incorporate them into the rules. Listen to your children and Spend time with your children.
10/6/2010 2:03:14 PM
Randy R United States
Randy R
The thing me and my wife have Learned was to tell our daughters was that they are a blessing and that they are very appreciate what they do and who they are and that has helped them in school and with there friends
10/6/2010 2:04:50 PM
Judy Umphress United States
Judy Umphress
As parents, what does people feel   about movies like Harry Potter and the Twilight series? Any video games out there that you don't let your kids play? Sometimes it's really hard to know where to draw the line, like Pokeman seems to be innocent enough until you realize that the offical website has or atleast did have links to occult sites. After seeing that I realized why my daughter was having nightmares. Any thoughts from anyone , would be appreciated.
10/6/2010 2:07:09 PM
Jody Podzemny United States
Jody Podzemny
Create a sense of community and importance in serving.  Serve beside your kids in church events, with your lifegroup, in your community and your nation.  My kids and I have worked together in the service center that serves our community through our church and alongside others as members of the Red Cross establishing relief shelters during hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Have kids LIVE what they are learning rather than just hearing it over and over.  It becomes part of them.  Also, forge strong relationships within your friends and church family, life group etc.  It truly takes a community to raise a child.  It is a wonderful thing to have that extended family to celebrate successes, join with each other for meals, fun time after church, etc.  It gives kids an extended group of influence that reinforces shared beliefs and values.
10/6/2010 2:07:56 PM
Emmy United States
Being a kid I know that my parents showing me that I can talk to them about anything and that they will listen has really impacted me and knowing that they are not scared to talk about hard-to-explain issues, like relationships, morality, God and stuff. When my parents and I have those conversations they really teach me HOW to think not WHAT to think, and that really helps instill the right values in me and helps me to better understand how to defend those values.
10/6/2010 2:12:28 PM
Kim Vanderlinde United States
Kim Vanderlinde
We made the decision when our son was born 16 years ago, that we would make church a constant part of our childrens lives.  We also decided our children would attend public schools.  We now have 3 teens. We are strong believers in being a light to this world.  This training starts as children.  Every opportunity I get (which are inumerable per week, if you look for it) I turn their minds towards God.  I never hide reality from my children.  They need to see the consequence of wrong choices.  I also trust them.  We've always had open communication and I never yell at them for sharing something, even if I don't like it. If I am concerned, I pray about it.  The kids see our flaws and other family conflicts.  I share that we are human and life is a growing journey with God no matter how old you are.  I also make sure the kids know that satan is out to rob and destroy family.  I have made a firm stand for our family. My kids are so wonderful.  They are making good choices and most of all, on fire for God!
10/6/2010 2:13:31 PM
Ray Marsh United States
Ray Marsh
The most important thing in raising moral children is to live moral yourself.  Kids can see through a phony.  We may fool ourselves into believing they don't see our double standards but we are the only ones being fooled.

Second is to talk to your kids about morality, more specifically as it relates to scripture.  Read the Bible with your family, talk about what it means.  There is supernatural power in God's Holy Word.  It is so much more than a nice collection of suggestions.  

Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
10/6/2010 2:14:44 PM
Lauren Snider United States
Lauren Snider
I am not a parent, but my parents, Jim and Jerolyn Bogear, wrote a book that came out last year called "Faith Legacy." The premise of the book is to share our experience as a family of how my parents instilled values in us kids. They discuss the core values of our family and how they raised us with values and morals and to leave a legacy of faith. Now as their adult child, I am continuing to practice the values and morals that were instilled in me when I was home and preparing how I will instill those values in my future children.

So glad this topic is being addressed.
10/6/2010 2:16:32 PM
Larayne Smith United States
Larayne Smith
Raising Godly children in an Un-Godly world is extremely difficult, but possible. When our daughter, who is a born again Christian and in the top 10% of her graduating class, headed off to college she became caught up in the world of freedom. When we became aware of the sins she was committing and realized that we were providing the financial means for her sin, we were forced to stop supporting her financially. Watching your child fall and fall hard is really difficult, but through her fall she realized that she was not walking with God. Although it took a year and a half, and her failing out of college, I am blessed to say that she is back with the Lord and uses herself as a testimony to others.  The power of prayer and standing firm in your faith and "being a parent" and not your child's best friend is the only way to go. Leading by example and being good role models is where it is at. All of this came about just as my husband was being ordained as a Deacon in our church, which made things even more difficult, but we wouldn't have changed anything about how we handled things.
10/6/2010 2:19:33 PM
Jaxs United States
I just wanted to share this with you, This is what a friend of mine is going thru right now. The story is just the beginning of this, the rest is just call ins about it. Prayers for guidance for all involved. We need to stand up for our children! To many time we forget that they are children, they need us more now then they ever will, and this is one mom who fully understood this in her child time of need, and in doing so stood up for many children.
10/6/2010 2:21:35 PM
peggy United States
I have a great resource/website for those of you trying to raise moral kids:
GO THERE and see how Rob R. is encouraging parents to parent. Practical resources for families.
10/6/2010 2:33:18 PM
Judy Umphress United States
Judy Umphress
What do parents think of the Harry Potter and Twilight series books and movies? I have friends that are ok with them and others that are not ok with their kids being exposed to them.
10/6/2010 2:35:52 PM
Marlyn United States
Get to know the parents of your children's friends! Get their e-mail addresses and cell phones. We talk about media being bad, but use the media for good - to keep track of the kids. My husband and I are fortunate that some of our child's friends go to the same church and school, so we can encourage the kids to make good choices. There is nothing like Good Peer Pressure for your child to make the right choices. Also, a few of our child's closest friends go to churches with different Christian denominations, but the basic beliefs are same. We text each other if there are problems or concerns.
10/6/2010 2:45:49 PM
Glenda Pyzer United States
Glenda Pyzer
I lost my 16 year old son 2 weeks ago today.  He died in his sleep of an acute pancreatitis.  It was a shock to us all, as he was such a healthy boy.  He had a huge heart, but like all teens, was not perfect.  I didn't expect perfection, nor should any parent.  Immediately after his death they held candle vigils at both High Schools he had attended.  The same theme from both schools was how loving he was to all, that he did not pass judgement on people, and he reached out to everyone he met.  His famous quote was "One Love" taken from the Bob Marley song.  I have spent hours reflecting.  I knew his heart was good, but I did not know how many people he was reaching out to.  If I had advice to give to parents it would be this:
*Love your child with every bit of your heart.
*Teach your child how important it is to accept everyone for who they are, and find the heart in everyone.
*Talk to them about the hard stuff, even if you don't want to hear it.
*Trust them and give them space to spread their wings, because no matter how immoral the world is, if their heart is good that will prevail.
*More important then going to church each week, is how you live your life the other days of the week.  Live with unconditional love, the way we are suppose to, and your child will watch, learn, and live it themselves.
10/6/2010 2:47:45 PM
Lydia E. United States
Lydia E.
Like a couple of those commenting before me, I'm writing as a (25-year-old) kid who has an amazing relationship with her parents, and wants to share what they did right.  Some of these will echo things already mentioned, but I think that just serves to confirm them.

First and foremost, my parents lived their relationship with the Lord before my sister and myself.  They made the decisions of the family according to His calling, and trusted Him to provide. They showed us what it looks like to love the Lord.

Second, my parents made clear that their relationship with the Lord was not enough for us; we needed our own.  They have always encouraged us to be grounded in Scripture and to seek God's will, and have made it clear that they will support us wherever God leads us as we do these things.

Third, my parents disciplined us.  I learned respect for authority, a sense of what's appropriate, and many other things from the discipline of my parents.

Fourth, my parents built a relationship with us.  Their discipline was conducted in the context of the many ways they demonstrated their love and care and support for us.  They made time to be with my sister and me, they made sure to talk with us, and they made clear that we could come to them with anything.

My parents didn't instill morals in my sister and me; they lived a lifestyle of relationship with Christ before us, and laid a foundation of relationship with us that allowed them to effectively urge us to follow after them.  The benefits of this have been more than I can list.  I can honestly say that neither of us hit a truly rebellious teenage phase.  And as adults, both my sister and I (she married by a few years, and I just having begun courting a wonderful, godly man) still go to them as both guides and friends.  We're not perfect children by any means.  But our parents gave us the tools we needed to understand what's right... and even more than that, to seek the Lord.
10/6/2010 2:57:57 PM
Paul H, Indiana United States
Paul H, Indiana
I would tell my girls, "If you want to fly like an eagle, don't walk with the turkeys." They seemed to choose pretty good friends.
10/6/2010 3:45:30 PM
Wes Parker United States
Wes Parker
Dads... LOVE your wives!  Dads... DON'T exasperate your children!  Dads... BE approachable, humble, understanding, validate, encourage, empathize, love unconditionally with mad passion and DON'T live through your kids!  ALL Parents... DON'T throw verses in kids face's, talk with them and MOST of all PRAY with them!
10/6/2010 3:55:00 PM
Joelle Niedecken United States
Joelle Niedecken
My youngest is a Sr. this year; my oldest graduated last year.   When they were little is when I started trying to walk with God/Jesus.  I felt kind of offended when I found out some of our church members kids were going to a private Christian school because we couldn't afford for ours to go there. As a babe in Christ (me), I didn't understand why the Lord wouldn't allow us or all of His children the ability to be able to send our kids (His kids) to a Christian school when we were trying to walk with Him.  

I prayed and prayed about this. I wanted to understand and I trusted God. I sure didn't want this to lead me towards any ill feelings towards anyone either.  One day when I was walking my kids to schoo, He shared with me.   He reminded about a song, "Go Light Your World" by Kathy Troccoli.

He was assuring me that this choice was His, and that He would lead the way and everything would be ok.

Having said all that, He led us in the basic things of not allowing our children to watch certain things on tv and to not allow them to listen to certain things on the radio.  We had no cable for about 8 or  years (by choice), watched age appropriate shows, personally, we always had our radio on KLOVE, taught them to respect everyone.  There are many different kinds of respect... towards parents, kids themselves, grandparents, teachers, others in authority, other adults and kids, things, etc.  

I believe it's important, as they're growing up, to be involved in every part of their lives, to show them the way.

There's a book, GROOMING THE NEXT GENERATION, that I wish I would have had when mine were little.  It's based on biblical principles and I recommend to every parent, grandparent, teacher, anyone involved in school or church in any way.  It's an easy read, and it's an AWESOME book!!!!!!!
10/6/2010 5:23:59 PM
Alexandra Weber United States
Alexandra Weber
My parents have done an amazing job! I think part of the reason that I am so strong in my faith and notice how wrong the world is is because my parents showed me how it was wrong. They never dressed immodestly and have never cussed. I think other reasons that make it easier is because they are striving to stay togeather and compromise all the time. Many kids grow up with divorced parents. This is not a bad thing but if your parents are togeather I think it makes the child's life easier. My parents never force me to do anything and are constantly growing in their relationship with Jesus, which inspires me to grow too!
10/6/2010 5:34:45 PM
Mischa Chernick United States
Mischa Chernick
In this day and age, when so much of what we see and hear every minute of every day is driven by the world's values, I think one of the best investments we can make into the "moral" and spiritual foundation of our kids is CHRISTIAN EDUCATION. Sure, there are a lot of charter schools popping up that teach "morals values" but they can't clearly teach the WHY behind the values! My kids attend a christian school and they are learning empathy and compassion by praying each day for people in need around the world. They are learning honesty and the value of truth by memorizing and putting into practice a Bible verse that tells them that "what ever is true, what every is pure..." think on these things! They are learning hard work by continually being challenged to excellence by being reminded that they serve an EXCELLENT GOD! And last, but definitely not least, they are learning to be selfless as they are asked daily, "is it about you?" NO! "Then who is it about?" IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS!

As parents, when all is said and done, the most important foundation we can lay for our kids, is a relationship with Jesus! All of the values we toute and hold dear flow naturally from that love relationship! Why not get all the help we can in that process. Christian schools are closing in record numbers all across the nation. What's more important, the latest greatest toys or a firm foundation for our kids?
10/6/2010 6:13:36 PM
John Barbour United States
John Barbour
Most Christians won't do this; but we could change the world if we would take our children out of government school and either home school them or put them in a good Christian School. If you do the later make sure you keep a good eye on them.  Most Christian schools become dumping grounds for all the problem kids.  Make sure you are following after the Lord with all your heart.
10/6/2010 8:08:11 PM
Mary United States
Parenting is not for the lazy or selfish! I say lead by example, it is tough but you do not waste time making excuses for double standards. When you make a mistake, tell your kids you were wrong. Do not lead them to believe you are perfect, instead confess your faults and weaknesses and talk about how you have learned from your mistakes. It may not keep them from making the same mistakes for themselves but they know they can come to you and talk about it which is the best thing in the world, when your kids come to you to discuss their life. You can not be with them all the time. You can not protect them from the ugliness of the world, but you can help them work through it and decipher the good and evil and hopefully keep them from joining in. How does the saying go?.. I think they are song lyrics...to be in the world but not of the world...
10/7/2010 3:56:39 PM
Nancy United States
Volunteer. One of the best things you can do WITH your kids is volunteer at church or at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. No matter what your own situation is helping others puts things in perspective when you experience their suffering. It makes you much more grateful for what you have and I found that my girls stopped complaining about not having things that "all the other kids have." Jesus taught us that is it more blessed to give than to receive, and helping others brings this lesson life. Each time we offered our help to others we always came away with a closer family bond and the feeling that we made a difference in someone elses life.
10/7/2010 4:34:38 PM
cjp United States
We have 2 teenage children, My husband and I have shown unconditional love just like our heavenly Father. We have taught them the principles and importance of setting themselves apart from society with Godly morals. First and foremost give them respect, always be honest and above all communicate communicate, communicate.. (listening the most). Use everything you can as a teachable moment tieing in scripture and God's design for our lives. God has blessed us with wonderful teenage children, and we have never regretted the teenage years. They have been as much of a blessing through this time of their lives as any other (maybe even more). Don't look toward the teenage years as a negative time....anticipate the special relationship you will get to build with your children. And the most important is to pray for them without ceasing...God will take care of the rest.
10/7/2010 5:07:34 PM
cjp United States
We have 2 teenage children that are such a blessing from God. My husband and I have shown unconditional love just like our heavenly Father. We have taught them the principles of setting themselves apart and to live by God's morals.  We hcve always made it a point to tell them often "I love You". Also, give them respect, be honest, and communicate, communicate, communicate (listening the most). Use every opportunity as a teachable moment using scripture and God's design for our lives. Never look toward the teenage years as negative, look forward to building a great relationship with your children. And most of all PRAY WITHOUT CEASING... God will take care of the rest.
10/14/2010 5:39:03 PM
Sarah United States
Sadly it seems this comment area has been taken over by spammers.

I'd have to say as a parent of 3 homeschooling has been the best way to raise my children for Christ - I'm not wanting to raise them morally but I'm raising them to be warriors for Christ. My children nor anyone's children cannot be light to an ungodly world when they know little themselves, most preschoolers, 1st graders or even 6th graders don't know how to resist temptation or avoid getting sucked into bad peers in schools (private, public or charter).  Another thing don't let your church do the Spiritual training or teaching.  So much has infiltrated ou churches, paganism, homosexuality, evolution, abortion, witchcraft and vampirism just to name a few.  In my church a college couple who watches twilight is teaching children on Wednesday night. Parents have a duty as commanded in Scriptures to be the ones who teach their children and they will be held accountable.  My children are social, have lots of friends of whom I know their parents and we are open with each other.  I had the pleasure of seeing my oldest accept the Lord in January and be baptized one day before her birthday this year.
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