Children who are brought up in families who teach virtues and strong moral values become confused when they enter other environments that teach moral relativism. This starts to confuse children on the rules of life. Something that is taught to be right and wrong at home becomes acceptable other places. If children do not have a forum to process their confusions, they begin to demonstrate more insecurity and self-doubt. There must be one environment in a child’s life that grounds them in the truth and helps them to understand the concepts of good and bad. Many educational and community providers of human services change wrongs into situational rights. Many professionals side with parents who wrong their children in abusive ways because the child showed a noncompliance to their authority. This codependent approach to helping helps to confuse children and allows parents to be irresponsible to their actions. How many teachers allow their students to disagree with their viewpoints? There are many professional helpers and parents have become very closed to children’s thoughts and feelings.

In order for society to address the growing concerns of child and adolescent violence, suicide, and behavioral problems, a moral code needs to be established that contains basic virtues to ground children and adolescents in the truth about what is good and what is bad. This is not to say that society has not responded to hurts and other bad behaviors exhibited by others. Many of the responses to children’s bad behavior has been extreme resulting in children being placed on medications, suspended from school, or placed in juvenile placements. I am not saying that on occasion this is not appropriate. These consequences occur, many times, for children who do not break the law or cause injury to others. Schools are quick to suspend children and adolescents or give them detention. Many times, the children have hurt another child or adult in some way that warrants this type of action by the school. A crucial element is missing in the process. An atonement process needs to be incorporated that promotes accountability and problem solving. Much of our child’s life will be played out in school. The school is responsible in teaching our children the important skills of responsibility, accountability, and problem resolution.

Author's Bio: 

Jay Krunszyinsky is a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counselor and Abuse Investigator for the state of Pennsylvania. His core approach to moral issues is broadly that described as 'virtue ethics,' that is, consideration of the chief virtues which contribute to a fulfilled and purposed life. See his website at Relationship Advice and Repair.