Who Is Responsible For The Moral Upbringing Of A Child, The Parent, School Or Society?

The moral is concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior. Upbringing, on the other hand, is the treatment and instruction received by a child from its parents throughout its childhood. A child is a young human being below the age of puberty or the age of maturity. Children need to have good morals and good manners so that they think of other people and learn the consequences of their actions(Jerry Hall). Moral Upbringing is the process of introducing the child to the world of values and moral norms.

Recently, there have been several reports and commentaries in the mainstream and social media over a viral video depicting improper acts among school children who represented their World School games between 8 and 14 March 2022 in Dubai. The fact that some students filmed the incident and posted it online shows that morals, values, and ethics have broken down, especially in this era of new media. Only in delusion and denial of the truth can anyone claim that the moral fabric of the country is upbeat.

A schoolgirl in the video was alleged to have participated in a game - 'Truth or Dare' which led her and a few other co-learners to carry out the immoral act after the lights-out instruction was given. So, where is the discipline in the home? This is a shame and a sad reality and a show of bad parenting and poor supervision! There is a need for standard procedure. 

In this era of the internet, social media, and mobile phones, parents must guide against indulging their children without control. Some parents pursue wealth and abandon child care and socialization, spending more time on social and economic activities without creating or spending quality time with their children. Some parents do not 'know' their children and do not manage their children! They simply give their phones to watch over their physical safety without watching their mental safety.

Generally, children are emotionally and psychologically unstable, have intimate behaviors, and live in a world of fantasy without knowing the full implications of their perceived fun. This is why they are placed under the care of adults at home because they require guidance and supervision at all times. 

Parents, teachers, community members, and religious leaders have roles to play in inculcating good morals in children at home, school environment, and in places of worship because it is a collective responsibility; however, parents are solely responsible for the moral upbringing of their children. The first point of inculcating morality in a child is the home. It is the primary responsibility of parents to mentor their children. Parents owe it a duty to find ways of monitoring the activities and behavior of their children while in school to detect and correct areas of concern. 

The disturbing incidences of immoral behavior among school children show that there is a vacuum somewhere, adding that parents are not doing enough. To some extent, some parents have relinquished their responsibilities of moral upbringing to teachers, who have to be playing the roles of ensuring academic advancement as well as molding the character of children. Some parents lack the needed morals to give to their children, thereby leaving the responsibility to teachers. There is a need for parents to wake up to their responsibilities and pay attention to raising the moral standard of the children who are to be the leaders of tomorrow. 

More so, today, in schools, no teacher can afford to touch anybody's child in the name of discipline because some parents could mobilize thugs to attack the teacher. Parents are discouraging teachers from playing their role of discipline and counseling the children while in school to keep them in line, and at home, they are never there for their children. The bond that kept family members together years ago has broken completely, lamenting parents have transferred their primary responsibility of parental care to teachers and house-helps. Parents are major stakeholders in ensuring the proper molding of their wards; society and schools are only supposed to complement. A lot of parents do not pay attention to the psychological needs of their children, and the gap created gives room for deviant behavior without the parents realizing it.

Parents should study their children and spend time with them to draw them close and regulate their behavior at an early stage. Most parents have failed woefully in their responsibilities of nurturing their children to become worthy characters in society. One cannot get what one did not give; the outcome of bad parenting is nothing but the bad attitude and behavior you see in children.

Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, moral, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Healthy parent involvement and intervention in a child's day-to-day life lays a solid foundation for better social and academic skills, something most parents lack today.

Parents have abdicated their responsibility of imparting moral values to their children, expecting school teachers to shoulder such responsibility. The responsibility of proper child - upbringing should not lie on the shoulders of teachers. The responsibility of mentoring children to behave well and become useful members of society is that of parents; the role of the school or the society is purely complementary.

More so, a child's experience at home, the environment around him, and his physical, cognitive, emotional, and social skills influence their developing sense of right over wrong. The child is not born well-disciplined, but it is his upbringing that inculcates in him good morals and ethics. The home is the first educational institution for children, where the main role is played by their parents to develop their morals and educate them about etiquette which helps them to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad. It develops their character in such a way that they come to recognize their duties in the best possible way.

In present times moral degradation has become a common cause for the spreading of social evils because most parents do not spend time with their children and they don't pay attention to the moral development of their children because of their business in materialistic things, which results in their children do not get proper love and care from their happiness in other things and get indulged in anti-social activities like robbery, drinking, consuming drugs, theft which leads them to cause trouble in the society, and they become annoying and harmful persons for the society as well as for their parents.

Moral development in childhood is necessary for the welfare of society. Children spend a lot of their time with their parents, and their needs and desires are fulfilled by their parents, so it is the responsibility of parents to provide moral education to their children and to teach them what is useful or band what is harmful to them. Assistance provided by parents to their children will create a pleasant environment for children's moral development. When parents put their efforts into developing morals in childhood, later on, their children will become well-disciplined citizens of society and will abstain from many crimes and immoral activities.

Furthermore, parents are vital in the moral upbringing of the child because they are the first moral teachers and role models that young people have. This they do by providing the necessary affective relationship and extensive interactions that facilitate moral upbringing. Parents' responses to children's transgressions and moral dispute and their explanations of the reasons for rules and expectations facilitate children's moral upbringing. It is the responsibility of parents to see whether their children have got the company of good friends or bad and if they are having the company of bad friends who don't have good character, then their parents must keep their children away from them. 

Parents provide the most constant and visible models of behavior associated with character development; they also help by identifying other models of the character traits they want their children to develop and by raising appropriate character-related issues in discussions of daily events.


They include;

📌Parents should put in the minds of their children about their responsibilities towards their society and towards humanity and educate them to develop good morals and character so that they will positively help society and will play their role in the development of a well-disciplined and civilized society. 

📌They should create a moral home, one in which children are involved in decision-making, and the rights and responsibilities of all are upheld. 

📌Parents should help children develop the coping skills of self-control, so they can just say no, resist temptation, or use methods of conflict resolution. 

📌The home is where the foundation for child discipline is laid and nurtured. The foundation of every child is paramount at the early stage. This is the beginning where good morals and behaviors are taught to the child. The Holy book says ''train up a child the way he should go and when he is old, will not depart from it". Parents shouldn't give their children to anyone to train or look over while they are in pursuit of material things. It is the PARENTS' job. Also, parents must be God-fearing. As parents, if you are not God-fearing, you can't pass such teaching to your children. The Holy book says again that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. As a parent, you must have a fear of God to properly position your children for moral growth.

📌 it is the duty of parents to impart to their children at the early stage before peer pressure comes knocking; It is the moral training at this stage that parents pass that guides their children when they are not there. Wise parents teach their children God's laws. 

📌Parents also should not accustom their children to more luxurious life and should not make available to them unaccounted money by which they can get indulged in many social evils. 

📌Equally important, parents should be a good example to their children. For many years in life, children are strongly under the influence of their parents. They develop concepts in their minds about life by viewing their parent's behavior. For example, If someone knocks at the door asking for some help, and when the child interacts with the father that someone has come, the father uprightly tells the child to tell the guest that he is not available. So the child develops a concept in mind that lying is not a wrong action. "Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, every movement and action affects. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than a parent" (Bob Keeshan). Children look up to their parents as their mentors, teacher, instructor, and provider. Therefore the example they set for them will follow.

 📌Again, as parents, sometimes there is room to get frustrated by their children's behavior. When this happens, they get angry and speak negative words to them. But as the saying goes," Never do anything or say anything when angry." Negative words have a great effect on the child; instead of saying those words, keep silent till later time or say positive words.

📌Parents are the first teachers and role models for their children. They must see themselves as moral models for their children and must behave accordingly. Children are quick to pick up on the values that adults hold dear. It is, therefore, important that they behave in a way, which reflects moral values, or the child will quickly conclude that they are hypocritical. Parents should let their children see them doing a good deed instead of telling them to do it, and the child shall one day grow up to become a real kind human being.

📌The number of time parents spend with their children matters. This is for the busy parent who prefers material things over family - time with the kids. If they want a responsible child, spend quality time with them. 

Parents can influence up to 60 - 70%. Not all will have that much influence. The other 30 - 40% is the natural inclination of the child. Outside influences compete for the 60plus%. It is up to the parents to make sure they take their fair share of it. Not all outside influences are bad, and not all are good. 

PARENTS! Do you want your child raised and taught by you, the school, or the society? Parents, you are the main custodian of your children. The moral upbringing of a child is up to you, do not allow others to take that power from you.

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