Tips for Imbibing Ethics and Moral Values in Children

Going to school, listening to teachers, going home with a heavy head and finally end up with the roll of a mark sheet. Is that all? Are we among the ones in the rat race, chasing the rolls of certificates without realizing the responsibility that we owe towards the society at large? Certainly not.

We can always contribute our share towards the betterment of the society. Lending a helping hand can be imbibed at home through moral values as they lay a strong foundation in the child’s life. Children usually have the tendency of imitating their elders ( parents, teachers).This will also help you to mould your child as an ideal citizen.

These moral values serve as a magical potion to children as most of the times their parents are their first teachers. Herein, the parents need to have very strong morals in life to be a role model to their child. They need to help the child in figuring out the moral philosophies, moral and immoral nature of deeds, practices and the like kinds. This helps the child to have his/ her opinion based on the moral education imparted to him/her.

Using real life examples becomes an informal way of helping the child understand these ethical issues clearly.

Schools should also share an equal responsibility of inculcating these values in children as schools serve to be the child’s second home. These teachings in school are enforced through formal education that leaves an everlasting impression on the child.

Children absorb all the moral values and ethical issues irrespective of the type of education imparted to them. This helps them to contribute their share in the mere future towards the society.

The Depth of Our Nature – Outdoor Classrooms and Unitarian Universalist Values

Across the country progressive school districts are sinking their money, time and resources into 'green classrooms'. These outdoor learning spaces are living, breathing learning labs where educational standards are finding new life among butterfly, vegetable and rain gardens. Engagement and enthusiasm for learning are up, apathy and absences are down.

Yes, you say. How wonderful for school environments. What does it have to do with our churches?

Well, aside from the excellent reasons above – plenty.

Here are three more reasons why outdoor classrooms are SO UU!

1. Outdoor classrooms offer a wealth of opportunities to allow our children to problem solve the challenges of our planet on a much smaller scale. A rain barrel, a hill and two or more groups of kids with opposing goals are all that is needed to teach young children about the politics of water usage. A butterfly garden offers a tangible way to actively engage students in the global push to save our precious pollinators. The act of working across generations to create a common space that meets the needs of all members allows our youth to participate in the sometimes difficult process of democracy.

2. Outdoor classrooms are the perfect multigenerational lab for teaching environmental, congregational and community stewardship utilizing our 7 principles. How does a rain garden help our watershed? What is the most environmentally ethical way to provide food for birds? Can older youth work together with seasoned congregational members to problem solve a method for recycling your church's gray water? Young children can brainstorm action-based statements about what the principles look like during play, and an artistic committee of members can create a series of outdoor plaques to help educate everyone who uses the space! What an amazing community education outreach opportunity! An outdoor classroom is never done. It is a long-term commitment to constantly re-evaluating a congregation's goals and determining utilizing the basic tenet of stewardship: to leave the world in better shape for your successor than was handed to you by your predecessor.

3. Outdoor classrooms offer sacred spaces to not only honor, but also teach, our 6 sources. As UUs we draw from a rich and varied tapestry of sources and the great outdoors is the perfect canvas to highlight the beautiful traditions each of them contribute. A contemplative labyrinth? A Native American medicine wheel? A peace pole? How about a soul garden? All of our sources can find a place of honor in the outdoor classroom – the sky is the limit. Literally.

The next time your congregation is batting around the usual frustrations about how to revitalize your RE program – think green. An outdoor classroom provides limitless potential to shape global learners who value diversity, cooperation and innovation and who are not only prepared, but fired up, to take their place as trail blazers of the next generation.

What could be more UU than that?