How Reading can Help Children Learn Right from Wrong

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Great stories for children

Children develop their conscience early on. It is during their formative years when they start to learn the difference between right and wrong, and why it’s better to do right by people than to act in selfish and careless ways. It is also during this time when they are developing communication, vocabulary and language skills, and reading time is important to both of these aspects of personality development. Learn how early reading can be an important part of teaching your child values, morals, and the difference between right and wrong.

Learning Morality

Children have to be taught morality. They don’t necessarily know instinctively the difference between right and wrong, and when they do, they are often ruled by their immediate desires rather than their conscience and morality. Every child, for example, goes through a stage where they don’t want to share, where they want the toys for themselves. They have to learn skills like fairness, like consideration for others and the right ways to think, feel and act. It’s vital for them to have examples to hammer home these lessons.

Children and Morality

Children’s ideas of morals are based largely on absolutes. Things are good or bad, and this is largely determined by whether or how much damage has been done in a situation. They are also driven by fear of punishment, especially where rules violations are concerned. Finally, they have to learn to see other peoples’ points of view. They are inherently self-centered as they explore the world and develop their own personality.

Examples in Morality

The first and most obvious example for a child in the realm of right vs. wrong is their relationship with their parents. Kids look up to their parents to learn the proper ways to behave and develop their own values and morals. Another important example, however, are the stories to which they are exposed. As they bond with parents and learn to love literature, stories and folk tales from your own and other cultures can be excellent ways to provide examples of good ways to live.

Fairy Tales and Fables

The whole point of folk tales and fairy stories are to provide examples of good living, of the moral and ethical ways of behavior in a given culture. Spend time reading fables and fairy tales with your child, and talk about the lessons inherent in these stories. What does the child think the story is saying, beyond the obvious acts of the characters? What can they learn from the story? Listen to their thoughts and guide them towards the conclusions of morals and ethics that are inherent in these stories.

Great Stories for Children

Great stories for children can be an ideal way to teach kids perspective, to help them see the world as others do, and to learn values of fairness, of right and wrong. Check out some of the free eBooks we have available and explore our site for more excellent early literacy resources.