I’m sure you know that successful parenting has more to do with the little things you teach over and over and over again… all in the hopes that these teachable moments add up to a wise, kind, content and caring “future” adult who is productive, generous, and responsible.

Dr. Michelle Borba shares 38 Parenting Practices that Build Moral Intelligence. It’s a great list to print off, pin to the fridge, and look at often to remind us what we need to “teach” and talk about on a regular basis with our children. Dr. Borba shares:

Even in our increasingly toxic culture, parents can still have the inside track in their children’s development because parents are their children’s first and most important moral teachers. That premise only applies though if parents choose to use their moral influence.

Remember, children do not acquire strong character in one-time lectures, but in daily teachable moments. So take advantage of everyday moments to stretch your child’s character and there are dozens!

Here are a couple “teachable moments” concepts in her list of 38:

  • Experiencing different perspectives help children able to empathize with others whose needs and views.
  • Be sure your behaviors your kids watch are ones that you want them to copy.
  • Catch your child acting morally by describing what she did right and why you appreciate it.
  • Treat children respectfully so that they feel respected and are therefore more likely to treat others respectfully.
  • The best way to teach kids any virtue is not through our lectures but through our example.
  • Encourage your child when he encounters unfair treatment to stand up for himself and the rights of others.

via Michelle Borba


  1. The best teacher is the way one lives. Unkind words and critical attitudes teach the wrong thing.

    Screaming “how wrong” something is – is not effective. Gentle “truth” goes a long way in building positive attitudes.
    We must stand firmly for what is right — we are not looking for an argument, but for knowledge of the truth.

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