The Process Needs Adult Intervention
According to Manes, children can’t be relied on to spontaneously grow their own moral compass. The process needs adult intervention, she says.
“But rather than try to super-impose a set of rules, the goals of parents and caregivers should be to develop the child’s own capacity for morality, or a sense of goodness, empathy, justice and care for others,” says Manes. “These qualities need to be fostered and developed from the inside so that your child comes to recognize it as part of his own identity.”
As a rule of thumb, teaching your child about morals should involve creative opportunities they can experience first-hand. According to Manes, this gives children the opportunity to reflect on action and behaviors around them and weigh these against their own feelings and experiences.