Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


by Domenick J. Maglio PhD., Traditional Realist

There are many things young children do not need to know. Parental disharmony, family finances,  drug use, pornography or violence are not matters young children can or should digest. It is better to avoid long discussions that could result in more confusion and possible trauma than clarification.

Children should be exposed to small bites of direct information about subjects they question. These can range from birth, death, sex, crime or moral values to many other areas of concern. The answers should be appropriate to the maturity of the child.

The older the child the greater is the need to introduce the dark or real side of life. A young person has to be aware that a stranger should not readily be accepted as a friend. Physical and mental safety depends on knowledge of addictive behavior and possible antics of a con or an immoral deviant. Life has many dangers that should not be hidden. A naïve child has a greater chance to be chosen by a predator as a target than an aware child.

To protect a child he has to be taught the consequences for good and bad behavior. Parents should take the time to point out the tragic end product of a destructive lifestyle. A drunk or drug addict staggering in the streets should not be ignored but used as an object lesson of the evils of abusing one's body and mind.  The identification and arrest of a sexual predator in the media should trigger a family discussion to instruct the child how to act when alone and approached by a stranger.

Parents need to sternly warn the child not to accept candy, gifts or follow stranger’s demands of going with them or engage in mutual touching.

Parents and elders have to teach the child the importance of being judgmental. The negative outcome of being committed to laziness, lying and stealing is hard for a youngster to comprehend. It takes an aware adult to point out to a youth the inevitable outcome of a person who habitually lies, steals, is lazy and does not contribute to others.  The best examples to use to educate a child are real ones in his environment. Lectures do not work well but people's lives speak for themselves.

Local news stories and celebrities in the media who have committed criminal or bizarre behavior against self or others should be topics discussed. There should be conversations as to why a person with a PhD. degree is begging on the corner or why criminals and mentally ill people continue to lie when there is concrete proof of their lying.  As the child matures possible societal solutions to protect law abiding citizens should be discussed in the family as it would help the child understand the consequences of making damaging choices.

The shame of being dependent on government welfare, mental institutions and prison
should be seen by the youngster as the end result of self-destructive behavior. The youngsters should learn that these behaviors are formed by years of ignoring doing the right thing. The fear of failing to be a respected citizen can be a great motivator for youngsters to not be tempted to start down the road to a life of immorality.

Modern parents with younger children are under the illusion that they will always be physically present to protect them. It is hard for them to realize how quickly the time goes by and how short is the time to prepare the child for the presence of evil. These parents are living in a blissful ignorance until an unpleasant incident opens up their eyes. They finally realize the inevitable fact that they may not always have the power and ability or be there to help them.

It is the duty of parents to be wise and realize the best protection they can give their child is awareness of the importance of natural consequences to one’s behavior. To fully comprehend the  results of living a moral or an immoral life, specific facts have to be laid on the table. It does no good and much harm to pretend evil does not exist. This approach leaves one's child defenseless in the world where evil exists.

It is one thing to over burden a child with worries that are out of his power to control. It is a totally different thing to leave your child vulnerable without necessary survival skills and knowledge that would protect him from naively walking into an avoidable situation.  A series of bad choices can alter the course of having an opportunity to live a good and worthwhile life.

Knowledge is power. Parents: teach, not shield your children from the harsh realities of life to protect them. The parents’ failure to teach their children the signs of deviant people’s behavior is putting them in a dangerous position.

Dr. Maglio is an author and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. You can visit Dr. Maglio at


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