Teaching Life Lessons to Your Kids? Study Shows Something Parents Need To Remember

Written by Kevin Fobbs on August 31, 2017

Parents, a leading researcher is advising parents, grandparents and caregivers a surefire way of teaching kids morals and she has solid proof to back up her claim. According to UPI, Dr. Patricia Ganea insists that, “Books that children can easily relate to increase their ability to apply the story’s lesson to their daily lives.” She provides some truly impactful reasons why four to six-year-olds are more likely to share and be more respectful with their peers after being read a story with human characters.

The challenge of educating children about morality should be considered a serious endeavor, and a research study from the University of Toronto has found that if parents want their young children to benefit from a story’s moral lessons they should choose books featuring humans, not solely animals.

While many children’s’ books that feature only animals as the protagonists as well as the participants that are featured in the book may be cute, the moral message may be lost. In fact Dr. Patricia Ganea said in a news release, “Many parents believe children find stories with human-like animals captivating and relatable, but what we’re finding is that this is not the case.”

Moral lessons and training should not be left to happenstance or on what books look cute or might be socially popular. Already, far too many parents abandon their responsibility to teach Biblical morality, and instead, unfortunately, often leave that responsibility to television shows, cartoons, and even internet games.

American Christian Civil Rights Movement Executive Director Judi Lake emphasizes why parents, grandparents and caregivers of children must take on the moral teaching tools provided in the Bible. Lake stresses that The Bible instructs in Deuteronomy 11:18-19, “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

As the Bible states, parents must be truly active and more hands on in the selection process regarding what morality teaching and learning tools they are choosing for their children. After-all, while kids may be young, they are not easily fooled.

To prove this point, the study’s researchers read stories about sharing to a group of young children. Some of the children were read books featuring humans while others listened to stories featuring animals with human characteristics. UPI reported that, “Afterwards, children were asked questions about the story they were read and offered the chance to share stickers with other children. Though books featured animal characters who spoke and wore clothes, children still didn’t view them as entirely human. Many children claimed the animal characters lacked human characteristics.”

The bottom line in the study that parents should pay attention to is that, children in the study who viewed the animal characters as human were more likely to share with their peers. Children didn’t express a preference for one type of book over another. What is key, according to Professor Ganea is, “Books that children can easily relate to increase their ability to apply the story’s lesson to their daily lives,” She added, “It is important for educators and parents to choose carefully when the goal is to teach real-world knowledge and social behaviors through storybooks.”

photo credit: cesarastudillo Reading session via photopin (license)

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Kevin Fobbs
Kevin Fobbs has more than 35 years of wide-ranging experience as a community and tenant organizer, Legal Services outreach program director, public relations consultant, business executive, gubernatorial and presidential appointee, political advisor, widely published writer, and national lecturer. Kevin is co-chair and co-founder of AC-3 (American-Canadian Conservative Coalition) that focuses on issues on both sides of the border between the two countries.