Educate to live together: not all standards are the same

Indeed, not all rules They are the same: there are legal, ethical or moral and civic. In addition, not all have the same validity and even, there are legal rules against morals. Parents must teach their children to differentiate, respect and know to know how to live in society and according to their own convictions.

The education of children transcends the borders of their own home, so we must try to ensure that our children learn to live in society, knowing the difference between legal and ethical, putting into practice a series of education standards that do not go out of style

Educate in family to live together

First we will have to help them distinguish one norm from another, reinforce personal convictions and give them enough security so that they know how to defend them now and in the future.


The moral standard it refers to the discernment between good and evil, using the freedom to choose our actions.

The rules of education are those that help us live in society: give thanks, good morning, know how to apologize when we are wrong, give way or listen to the other even if it is a little heavy.

And regarding compliance with the laws, it is important to make them see that certain rules exist to favor coexistence among citizens and that their non-compliance can result in bad consequences or sanctions.

We must teach them to cross in green or through pedestrian crossing, that the uniform is worn as the school board directs, that papers are not thrown on the ground or that it is impolite to speak very loudly on mobile in public places.


Moral norms are the basis of behavior

Education regarding moral standards is closely linked to compliance with laws. Thus, for example, if we cultivate honesty in a child, it will be more difficult for him to later steal from his company if he has the possibility to do so; or if when we go to the movies we do not leave the remains of popcorn and sweets scattered on the floor, it will be innate to take care of any stay later on. If we teach him to respect dad, mom or teachers, surely he will know how to behave before a superior either at work or by public office.

In this sense, we must teach children the importance of all their actions, they can not grow up believing that everything does not matter, that nothing happens when they do not respect the rules of the gym that they attend in the afternoons or are careless with books that Get out of the public library. If a child grows in this indifference, then it will be more difficult to understand that it is important to do good or bad work, that you should not criticize the company's colleagues behind their backs, that to get a job, nothing happens. be a climber or if you are tired, it does not matter not to give the seat on the bus to an elderly person.


Differentiate well each of them

If we refer to the dictionary of the Royal Academy of Language we see that the rule is the rule that must be followed or to which behaviors, tasks, activities, etc. must be adjusted When this refers to the law speaks of legal precept, as a precept dictated by the competent authority, in which something is ordered or prohibited in accordance with justice and for the good of the governed. Thus, in a constitutional regime is the provision voted by the Cortes and sanctioned by the head of state.

Morality deals with what belongs or relating to the actions or characters of people, from the point of view of goodness or malice, therefore, it does not concern the legal order, but the internal forum or human respect. And finally, the civic conduct it fits more in the way men behave in their lives and actions.

Legal and ethical do not always coincide

There are many occasions that we have today to make children see what actions that are legally permitted, morally unacceptable. Although they seem small, it is time to lay the groundwork for them to be very clear that not everything that we are legally allowed to do, we must ethically accept. Reaching consensus by majority - minimum level of coexistence - is very different from seeking truth among all, with effort and enthusiasm.

In the first case, we move at a very low level of demand; in the second, we adopt a creative attitude of great value. In this way, children naturally learn that the "legal" and the "ethical" are not necessarily identified. Legality is reached by the will of the strongest (in a dictatorial regime) or the majority (in a democratic regime). The representatives elected by the people enact laws by force of votes in the Legislative Chamber. This indicates what is legal and what is contrary to the law and, therefore, punishable.

The norms of coexistence and their assimilation by age

The norms of coexistence that are transmitted to the children must be very sensible, clear and reasonable. We can not change them according to our mood.

- After eight years, the child internalizes the behavioral norms of his social environment -family, school, group- and, therefore, begins to configure his moral conscience. The first conscious "alibis" appear, so we already have to be attentive to their "stories so as not to sleep".

- Around ten years, He begins to become aware of himself as a well-differentiated person. You may feel some slight moral concerns. You have to talk a lot with them to avoid forming a conscience too scrupulous.

- Around age 12, It is the moment in which he acquires moral convictions, to which he tries to adjust even when they are demanding. He begins to have a moral sense, reflects on "what he should do" or "what he should have done". We should not substitute them in decision-making, although we should help them reflect when they make mistakes. We can take advantage of current news to discuss with them our ethical assessment of the facts and reason, according to their age and maturity, our opinion.

There are many occasions that give us the opportunity to teach children to differentiate that everything that can be done for not being sanctioned, is not the same as what is "done" according to our moral conscience. A frequent case is when we demand the money, if the change is returned badly; but do we act the same if the turns are in our favor? This is when our attitude is really educational: nobody will find out if we keep it, but ethically we know and teach the children that the right thing to do is to return the excess money.

Ana Aznar
Advice: Mª Ángeles Almacellas. Professor at the International University of La Rioja UNIR

Video: Considering National Education Standards


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