Monday, July 27, 2020

Explaining things to kids - Importance of conscience and guilt

Image result for guilty child

Management of guilt.

“What do you do when the President of the United States engages in name calling, bullying taunts, and inciting  violence? Donald Trump often calls his opponents stupid, losers, rapists, drug dealers, gang members and belittles them with names and taunts like ‘Little Marco,’ ‘Lying Ted,’ ‘Crooked Hillary,’ ‘Sleepy Joe.’  He encourages people at his rallies to punch protesters in the face and he will pay their legal bills, to ‘use their second amendment rights,’ and that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and his voters would still vote for him. He brags to his buddies that he can kiss women, fondle their pussies, and they let him because he is rich and famous. How can we expect kids to stop bullying, name calling, taunting, sexally assaultinig women, and lying  when they see the President of the United States not only do it but win an election.?”

There is a question about whether the President of the United States is any longer a role model that would want our children to emulate or aspire to be like. But even more egregious and concerning are the millions of Americans who support and enable such behavior. What kind of a world are we raising our children in and how do we guide them?

The question moves outside the arena of politics to one of morality. There are good Republicans and bad Republicans just as there are good Democrats and bad Democrats, but regardless of political party affiliation, bullying and verbal and physical assault are wrong.

We need to teach our kids the difference between right and wrong. Good parents help their child develop a conscience and act upon it. The conscience sometimes makes children and us feel guilty. This kind of guilt is a good thing. Guilt needs to be recognized, acknowledged, and addressed. How?

If we do something wrong we are to admit it, take responsibility for our mistakes (sins), and act to repair the harm we’ve done. Further, we are to learn from the experience and consider and plan for how we could avoid repeating the same mistake again.

Donald Trump has been called a psychopath because he seems to have no guilt, never admit mistakes, never take responsibility for the harm he has done, and never seek forgiveness and attempt to repair the damage he has caused.

When it comes to role models, the worst thing is not Donald Trump’s behavior manifesting the destructive, harmful things he has done, but more importantly his unwillingness to take responsibility for it.

One of the most important tasks of parenting is helping children develop a conscience and learn how to constructively manage their guilt. The most important role model for children is not the President of the United States but their own parents. Does the parent admit mistakes, seek forgiveness, make amends, and learn from the experience?

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