Teaching Kids Moral Values: Essential for Self-Realization and Social Control - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1843 Words
Date:  2023-04-09


There are things adults can do, but children cannot do it because they are young human beings. As with other facets of life, morality plays a vital role especially by directing people how to get along with oneself and others. In other words, morality is a necessary condition for self-realization and social control. Through morality, children learn what is good for society and for themselves. Parents, therefore, have an obligation to teach their children desirable traits so that they can be imbued with a strong ethical compass. For example, parents should teach their children that they have not to buy alcohol, have sex, vote, or engage in paid employment. However, this brings another question of whether children have any rights. Most jurisdictions grant children legal rights to ensure that they are morally treated in the right way. The paper will discuss in detail and demonstrate moral rights possessed by children.

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Right to Happiness and Convenience

O'Neill asserts that children have fundamental rights, which can also be used to justify positive rights and obligations. All children's rights are grounded to minimize harm and augment benefits (O'Neill, 1988). The whole point appeals that children's moral rights consider happiness and convenience. This means that entirely all children's rights are connected to good results. First, those who care for children should refrain from molestation and abuse; this may include all agents, caregivers, or the right holders. All children are required to be safe and protected from any kind of injury, harm, or threat. In this sense, caregivers are supposed to ensure that children's fundamental rights are protected. Children will have a right to appropriate care of any standard since care is considered a special right. Therefore, provided the type of social or political arrangement, the agents have a commitment to undertake the responsibility and fulfill such obligations.

Agency and Welfare Rights

Another objection to children's moral rights comes from O'Neill who highlights that children are dependent creatures who rely on adults to meet all their needs. They require physical, developmental, and emotional support to survive in the world (Brighouse, 2002). For this reason, they may be vulnerable to decisions made by people because they have no capacity and capability to think on their own. Children, therefore, have agency and welfare rights in that they need to be protected and be directed concerning treatment before they mature. Welfare needs such as shelter, food, clean environment, loving and secure relationship with the parents, to mention but a few are fundamental attributes that children require. Agency interests are only protected when welfare needs are met. Agency rights of children also include constant care, nutrition, supervision, interaction with others, sleep, among others (O'Neill, 1988). However, as children grow older, these rights change because they shift from the restricted range.

Children have a right to change from the culture through which they were raised. Due to the openness of the world, children are not supposed to be burden with a culture that does not work for them (Brighouse, 2002). However, children cannot make their own choices before their experience makes sense to them. What matters here is the obligation of parents to introduce children to situations of their culture as they age before allowing them to start making their own choices. The focus is to protect them from the consequences of the decisions they make until they cusp being right-holders. Parents are responsible for upbringing and education so as to prepare children to understand their culture. Moreover, children have freedom for religion; this however, follows after they achieve competency in different areas so as to be granted the right to make such a decision. There is a certain age that children become adults hence are granted full access to agency rights. They become reasonable and thus are allowed to have the rights to have sexual intercourse, drink, drive, stand for office, marry, to mention but a few.

Right to Own Culture, Religion, and Expression

Another understanding of children's moral rights is their own culture, religion and expression. There are various forms of linguistic communication, religious worship, choice of sport, and many more trivial habits that children participate in. Like adults, children also have these rights because the culture or religion has not been made for their own. In some circumstances, children are raised by adoptive parents and for this reason, end up being raised in a culture that they do not choose. Unlike, adults, they do not have the liberty to explore an alternative until when they reflect mature personalities. They can therefore, decide on their own to participate in activities of their choice. O'Neill (1988) argued that parents must allow children to enjoy religion or culture of the group they deem desirable regardless of their own preferences. That will provide them with a mainstream of opportunities in order to participate in a community that will help them develop a broader understanding of the world.

Right to Conscience and Thought

On the other hand, children are obliged to moral rights such as conscience and thought. Caregivers should give direction to children so as to exercise rights in a manner pervasive in society. Thereafter, children will develop the complexity to evaluate reasons for the authenticity of such belief. When confronted with string inclinations, they will have radical choices since they have been trained to do the right thing for the right reason. As children age, they are imparted with moral principles, which teaches them moral behaviors, values and attitudes. O'Neill also introduces a discussion on article 13 of the United Nations Convention, in which there is a conversation about the moral rights of children (O'Neill, 1988). Children have the right to freedom and this encompasses things such as freedom to seek, receive, and impart information of all kinds; this information can be oral, print, or any form of art that is morally accepted by society. It therefore, requires a moral understanding meaning that children have to be raised in a family where they are taught moral principles.

The capacity of children to learn requires expression so that they can reflect their personalities and commitments towards moral understanding. A child is enlisted with the right to own opinion in that they can form their views and express them freely in all matters affecting them. In the same parallel, the views should be given weight in accordance with the children's age and maturity because it is important to also hear what children say. The right to children's opinions include space, voice, audience, and influence; this means that it is rightful for them to be given an opportunity to express their views, express themselves freely, listened to, and acted upon appropriately. Article 19 of the United Nations Convention also discusses children's moral rights in regard to protection from abuse and neglect (O'Neill, 1988). Caregivers and all right-holders should ensure that children are protected from all forms of physical and mental abuse or any kind of injury. On the same parallel, they should be protected from neglect or maltreatment, which involves all kinds of exploitation and sexual abuse. It is okay for parents to ensure that while children are under their care, they should guard, teach children to develop a better personality, show respect and be responsible for life in the free society.

Further Rights

Before the children's moral rights are addressed, there are further important components that need to be addressed. To begin with, children and young people are not in the best place they should grow; this means that there is no legislation that ensures children's moral rights are protected. Laws that support the protection of children's rights need to implement strategies, which aim to put children at the heart of planning and delivery of services (Brighouse, 2002). This way, they will ensure that moral rights are respected and protected. At the same time, the legislation should aim at improving the way the available services support children and families so as to promote cooperation between the services and children centers. In this sense, it will be easier to strengthen the role of parents to teach their children moral principles in the early years and increase the amount of flexibility that is experienced at the leaning and childcare.

Also, as children grow up, there are no methodologies to strengthen and support their transformation. Emphasis should be placed on all rights and not only moral rights; this means that there should be a major focus during the early years so as to ensure that children are active, safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, included, responsible, and respected. For instance, as children grow, they need to be supported and guided on their learning and developmental skills so as they can acquire confidence and self-esteem (O'Neill, 1988). As they age, they will realize that it is important to behave in a morally acceptable way since they already have the attainable standards of physical, emotional, and healthcare, which is helpful in making choices. Rights entitlements that are needed to nurture and sustain the development of children in society. It is therefore, important to accommodate all rights to the maximum because children's well-being is better for the peaceful co-existence of an individual in the free world. Perhaps, moral principles should be imparted to the children at the early stage of their development to enhance mutual adjustment to the condition of society.

Moral Rights

The children's moral rights is a vital issue and must be addressed to support the children and bring them into existence. However, parental responsibility will be of importance to ensure that both agency and welfare rights are protected. Caregivers must ensure that children with great material need have access and are guided on the right behavior so as to interact with others peacefully. At the same time, parents must understand that children have a right to constant care, nutrition, supervision, sleep, and expression. As they grow older, parents should also fathom that agency rights need to change since they can make informed decisions (Brighouse, 2002). Children should feel that they have a right to religion, culture, and expression. They have a right to participate in various activities such as sport and to feel less restricted. As per the requirements of moral rights, children should be taught about moral rules, discipline on behavior, and when to empathize and sympathize.


Children's moral rights are structured differently from those of adults because children require more direction and care as they grow up. Therefore, children may be granted agency rights unlike adults, for example, a child has a right to care even if there is a divorce something that does not apply for the adults. Children should be completely guided and controlled by caregivers so that they can learn the right behavior to survive in the free society. The state and responsible authorities are therefore, supposed to reinforce moral rules during the early years of development to safeguard children's moral rights.


O'Neill, O. (1988). Children's rights and children's lives. Ethics, 98(3), 445-463. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/Children's%20Rights%20and%20Children's%20Lives%20O'Neill-article%202.pdf

Brighouse, H. (2002). What rights (if any) do children have? file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/What%20rights%20if%20any%20Brighouse%20article%201.pdf

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Teaching Kids Moral Values: Essential for Self-Realization and Social Control - Essay Sample. (2023, Apr 09). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/teaching-kids-moral-values-essential-for-self-realization-and-social-control-essay-sample

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