Richard Weissbourd, EdD (Senior Lecturer on Education, Faculty Director, Human Development and Psychology, Harvard Graduate School of Education) discusses how parents can help children develop morally and ethically by revealing their own struggles with difficult moral situations at #AskTheExperts webinar “The Golden Rule: Cultivating Kindness and Character Online” on June 15, 2022.

[Dr. Richard Weissbourd]: We have to model caring for other people, caring for people who are different from us. We have to model pursuing justice. We have to model grappling with ethical dilemmas. Times when values collide. These things are very important for us, for our kids to see us doing. Ethical, leading an ethical life is work. It is struggle. It is grappling. And it can be exciting work. It can be invigorating work. But there are times where loyalty and justice collide. For example, should you be honest with your teacher if a friend of yours steals a pen from another kid in the class when you know that that teacher might get that kid into a lot of trouble and that kid is already having a very hard time at home? These are not simple, these questions don’t have simple answers. Should you invite someone to a birthday party who has been mean to your best friend and your best friend doesn’t want that person to come? Kids should see us wrestling with these kinds of questions and taking multiple perspectives and talking about principles of fairness and how to realize those principles. Let me just also say that I don’t think the expectation is that we should be perfect role models. We should be living, breathing imperfect human beings, people who make mistakes. And a lot of the learning that I think our kids, around ethical issues especially, a lot of the learning that I think our kids will gather from us, is if we are self-aware, self observing, stringent about our own mistakes and able to talk to them about our mistakes in ways that they understand and that make sense to them.

View the full webinar

Ask the Experts—Webinar

The Golden Rule: Cultivating Kindness and Character Online

How can we help children develop moral character and values such as kindness and compassion online and offline?

Character Development
Civic Engagement
Social Media
Social Relationships