Thursday, March 04, 2010
Organized religion doesn't play a big part in our household, even though I believe in God and was raised a Catholic in one of the most devoutly Catholic nations in the world, the Philippines. The Catholic Church's response to all the molestation scandals and their hardline stance on birth control, condoms and AIDS have left me disillusioned and alienated from Catholicism (the organized body, that is, not the people who practice it). Also, having lived among people of different beliefs and cultures for so long, I've come to believe that good values and morals are not the exclusive property of any one religion, or of religion itself.
So when our kids were born, Alfie and I decided to raise them not by following the teachings of any one religion, but by helping them form good values and ethics and morals. We try to teach by example, of course, but it's also necessary to talk about values in order to reinforce them. But these these topics are usually considered the jurisdiction of Sunday schools and other religious instruction programs. That's where books like "E is For Ethics" come in. I was given a copy of this book to review and I think it's a great way for parents to begin talking about values and morals to young children.
"E is For Ethics" is a collection of twenty-six short stories about everyday situations faced by two children, Elliott and Lucy. Each story deals with a particular value such as Fairness, Honesty, Gratitude, Acceptance and so on. I like how the author, Ian James Corlett, makes each story simple and real, so any child can relate to the ethical dilemmas that Elliott and Lucy face.
For example, in the "Honesty" story, Elliott finds five dollars at the video store and a couple of minutes later, overhears a lady looking for five dollars that she dropped. It's definitely a situation any kid might face in real life. Each chapter ends with some questions to help parents can children discuss what they've read about. What should Elliott do? What does he want to do? What would you do? How might Elliott feel if he kept the five dollars? Each story is a wonderful conversation starter for parents who want to teach their children some good, sound values! You can read one story each night, skip one or two, go back to one of the stories when your child has encountered a similar situation -- how you use this book is really up to you. It's really a great tool to reinforce good morals in your children, whether you're Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, Muslim, or any religion, or no religion at all.
Free Coloring Book!
Download a free coloring book from the E is for Ethics website:
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to review. Unless clearly stated, the views and opinions expressed here are my own.