Annie Fox's Blog...

Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Prime Parenting Objective: Teaching Kids to Be Good People

October 4, 2012

''Teaching Kids to Be Good People'' by Annie Fox, M.Ed.

A very personal, practical, funny guide to challenging the culture of cruelty

The gestation, labor, and heavy pushing are over! On October 3rd at 4:12 PM Teaching Kids to Be Good People was born, you can get your own Kindle version of my book right here. No Kindle? No problem! You can read the book just fine on your Mac, PC, iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7 with this free Kindle Reader app. Or you can get the print edition here.

Why does anyone write a book? Serious writing can I can seriously tie your brain in knots so why go through that? I can only speak for myself. Part of it is for the glory. (I’m being honest because it’s the only way I know how to write.) When I hold one of my book and I read (great) reviews, I’m thrilled. And for that moment, I’m proud of what I’ve produced. I’m feeling that way now.

After 15 years of answering teen email, I’m convinced that many kids are missing the piece that motivates them to do the right thing. When their education primarily comes from their equally clueless peers, they’re in trouble. And so are we all. That’s why I wrote the book and why you need to read it. Our kids need us to help them develop a moral compass. And we need to do a much better job teaching them how.

Not all teachers are parents, but all parents are teachers. That’s convenient since positive character traits are teachable skills that need to be learned at home as well as at school. When we teach kids to be good people, we help the world become a safer, saner, more accepting place for all of us.

How do you define a “good person?” That’s precisely what I wanted to find out, so I crowdsourced the answer from hundreds of parents, therapists, counselors, educators and teens. Eight concepts kept reappearing in their thoughtful replies:  Emotional intelligence, ethics, help, forgiveness, compassion, empathy, acceptance, and social courage—all essential, teachable skills. Teaching Kids to Be Good People will help you teach these skills to your children and/or your students. Hopefully, you will become so engaged in this process that you will inspire all the kids in your life to consciously choose to be kinder to one another.

I think of it as doing my bit for world peace. Does that work for you?



  1. Annie. YES! YES! YES! I so agree with you that kids today are missing out on the moral compass. Often times, parents are feeling guilty for lots of things and therefore give too much or not enough of what the kids really need. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your book.

    Comment by Claudette — October 4, 2012 @ 11:55 am

  2. I look forward to learning more, but I whole-heartedly agree that the prime objective of this whole messy, wonderful, bittersweet enterprise of parenting is to help my children become good people.

    Comment by Lindsey — October 5, 2012 @ 8:59 am

  3. Congratulations on writing and publishing your own book! That’s no easy task! It sounds like a great topic. For what it’s worth, I think sometimes parents make the mistake of trying to get children to behave in the short-term rather than thinking about how they are creating a child with the long-term values and skills to be a good person later in life.

    Comment by Scott — October 5, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

  4. Thank you for the book (discovered it via…I really look forward to reading it!

    Comment by Traci — October 18, 2012 @ 9:59 am

  5. Thank you. But I don’t own a Kindel. Paula

    Comment by Paula Graham — October 18, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

  6. Hi Paula, You don’t actually need a Kindle to use the free download of my book, Teaching Kids to Be Good People.
    Just use the free Kindle Reader app here
    With it, the book file > works just fine on your Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, and Windows 7 phone.

    Please try it!

    In friendship,

    Comment by Annie — October 18, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

  7. Dear Annie: I look forward to receive your book.I am sure it will very helpful for all parents.

    Comment by Cherry — October 19, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

  8. Looking forward to read your book. it will be helpful for all parents.

    Comment by Cherry — October 19, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

  9. Thank you very much!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Yolanda Castleberry — October 19, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

  10. Anyone who spends time around tweens and teens know that these skills seem to be lacking. Our school uses the Virtues program which has been a wonderful way to bring these ideas to the forefront of the school/home setting. Great post thanks!

    Comment by Hadley — October 22, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

  11. Absolutely agree that this is lacking not just in today’s kids, but possibly within a few of us more recent generations that hover in that general vicinity. Say what you will about the evils of organized religion (and there is plenty to say legitimately), our mostly post-formal-religion culture is struggling to find things like “The Golden Rule” that can be looked up to and agreed upon in the way such standards were in the past by our grandparents. I’m not saying leaving no-questions-asked religion behind is a bad thing–far from it. I am saying that that used to play a role in setting guidelines and expectations that we parents now have to work even hard to to fill ourselves and within our communities.

    Comment by Cynthia — October 26, 2012 @ 10:26 am

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