Everyone knows that parents are the primary educators and nurturers of their children. The family is the basic social unit upon which society is build. We can never stress enough the importance of the family in its role in the education and raising of children.
However, parents need to see that their efforts are reinforced in the world around them. They need the concrete support, advice, experience, and time from others to aid them in this monumental task. They need to sense that the moral values they seek to implant in their children have projection outside the home and especially in the surrounding neighborhood.
Moreover, children also need to see that the moral values their parents hold extend beyond the home. They need to see a consistent message in home and neighborhood if these values are to have a solid foundation.
David Popenoe puts it this way: “For the moral development of children, no aspect of community support is more important than the community’s ability to reinforce the social expectations of parents; that is, to express a consensus of shared values. Young people need to hear a consistent message about what is right and wrong from all the important adults in their lives; they need not only a social community but a moral community.”
(As quoted in: Christopher Beem, The Necessity of Politics: Reclaiming American Public Life, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999, p.23.)
What kind of messages are today’s children getting from around them?