An Analysis Of I Listen To My Parents And I Wonder What They Believe By Robert Coles

790 Words 4 Pages
In “I Listen to My Parents and I Wonder What They Believe,” Robert Coles discusses the problem of moral abdication. Robert Coles, a psychologist, uses his experience counseling students to analyze what leads to children misunderstanding morals. Children need morality to guide them and help them make moral decisions. However, children are influenced by the adults in their lives and often those adults only confuse them morally. Also, children who grow up without moral standards then influence their children to abdicate, leading to a morally depraved and confused nation. Hence, moral abdication causes a cycle of confusion.
First, moral abdication causes confused children. Without morals, children are not equipped to understand their lives. In
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Children look to their parents to equip them with a moral standard. However, Coles’ text displays that adults shy away from this task by proclaiming, “[I]t is their grown-up protectors (parents, relatives, teachers, and neighbors) who are made uncomfortable by the so-called “innocent” nature children may ask or the statements they may make” (Coles, 2003, p. 439). Adults are uncomfortable with these discussions because they realize how ignorant they themselves are. When asked questions, adults’ moral abdication is revealed, and they realize that they are as confused as the children. Because of their own confusion, adults are negligent in teaching their children morals, and instead, “[T]each their children—a moral abdication, of sorts—and in this way, fail their children” (Coles, 2003, pp. 440-441). Adults’ failure at one of their most important tasks reveals their own confusion and inability. Furthermore, adults’ discomfort discussing morality and their failure at teaching morality are not the problem; instead, their discomfort and failure only reveals their moral abdication. Without morality, people live a confused life never understanding God’s purpose for them or their …show more content…
Deeper examination of adults’ moral abdication reveals that they, too, are victims of negligence when they were growing up. This is caused by the mentality, “But you should honor your father and mother most of all; that’s why you should find out what they think and then sort of copy them” (Coles, 2003, p.439). Children blindly copy their parents’ abdication, and then their children copy their abdication, and if this process remains unchanged, it becomes a never-ending cycle. Undoubtedly, this cycle needs to stop, as Coles proclaims, “[I]t would be well to do so before they become teenagers and young adults and begin to remind us, as often happens, of how little attention we did pay to their moral development” (Coles, 2003, p.441). If this cycle continues, each generation will become more morally depraved than the previous, living insignificant lives. Therefore, morality from God needs to be taught to bring clarity and end this cycle of

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