What every parent needs to know about Moral Values by Anitha

What every parent needs to know about Moral Values by Anitha

"There are little eyes upon you and they're watching night and day.
There are little ears that quickly take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager to do everything you do.
And a little child who's dreaming of the day he'll be like you."

                                                             -- Author unknown

As parents to children in a fast paced world, it is easy for moral values to get lost in translation. If we, as primary caregivers of our children do not believe that moral values are as important as being competitive, then we may be headed for utter chaos.
Anitha, who has been with MLZS since many years has found this trend deeply disturbing. She did some soul searching and figured out a way to instill important values in children at school. Here are her findings:

Values and beliefs are our way of life. They guide us to differentiate between good and bad even in adverse situations. Ironically, these values and beliefs are not mandatory for human survival.
There are two aspects to these core values that we should look into –

  1. Knowledge on various core values i.e., I know
  2. To follow the path of righteousness based on these values i.e., I follow
“In today’s scenario, there is a gap between ‘what I know’ about values and with what intensity do ‘I follow’ them. 

We all know the basic difference between right and wrong. But how many times are we able to follow through with right deeds, even when it is contrary to our immediate gain?
Basically every educated individual has a strong awareness on what is right. But some situations demand actions that need deviation from the core values. A simple example is the bribe given when jumping a signal or for the failure to produce a licence on the road when asked for. What matters more at that point of time is to overcome the situation than the consequences of the wrong action done.
In due period of time, values are compromised and escape routes are used whenever such situations occur in life. Hence the gap between what ‘I know’ and what ‘I follow’ widens. Self-realization occurs only when the consequences of the actions threaten the very existence of the individual. For example, all smokers know that smoking is injurious to health. But they let go off the habit only when a serious health hazard occurs in their lives. Their decision to quit the habit and stick to it then enters their core belief system. In most cases, adults learn to follow the values and adhere to their core beliefs only through unpleasant experiences. “

How schools like MLZS have evolved to accommodate the growing need for moral values

“It is believed that the course of one’s adult life depends on what they learn in the childhood. Till a decade ago, schools were largely academic oriented. It was believed that students who excelled in academics possessed and exhibited high values. Hence focus was given only to academic performance. Sadly, this belief did not hold true in many cases. Today the educationists have realised the gap between ‘I know’ and ‘I follow’ and are determined to imbibe core values in childhood stage blended with academics. “
“It has been found that childhood and adolescence are stages when the children are very idealistic. They believe that they live in an ideal world. We, as teachers and parents need to take advantage of this period to inculcate values in them. Children are visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners. When academic subjects are taught, learning happens through text books, thumb rules to be followed, through logical reasoning and so on. But on the other hand, values need to be taken to children through –“

  1. Case studies – lives of leaders who achieved greatness by following values
  2. By showing motivational videos where values are exhibited by individuals
  3. Demonstration of values by teachers in the form of role plays.
  4. Strong emphasis on outcomes when values are followed.
  5. Giving them real life situations where they have to think and express their views based on the values that they know.
  6. Constantly reminding them that it is important to be a better individual first and then a better professional in life.
How can parents ensure these values take root in a young learners mind?

“Value education should be consistent and repetitive in nature since they should take the form of roots in the minds of children. Like Mahatma Gandhi has rightly said “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.”

And finally, how do you test if a child has inculcated these values?

“Academic excellence can be measured through scores, grades and ranks and children are motivated to perform since their external environment is highly competitive. As for values, the measuring scale is only peace of mind, in other words, internal happiness that is achieved by following the core values. As mentors, constant encouragement and motivation are very critical in imparting values to children. Our mission will be held successful only when every student realises that “If I don’t value the values, I have no value”. Our vision is to create leaders of 21st century who will be known for their values and not only by their educational qualification.”

Anitha Shankar is the Co-ordinator of Grade I.  She takes English for Grade

Anitha writes about herself.  “Simple in actions and in thoughts, you return to the source of being.’ This defines me and I feel proud that I share this quality with Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa.  I am in this noble profession of developing future leaders for the past five years and I have been associated with Mount Litera Zee school for the last two years. 

Throughout my eventful life, one thing that has been constant is ‘change’. Hence my learning has been not to be afraid of change. I may have lost something good but I have always gained something 
better every time. “