Parents agree they should play the main role in educating their children about moral values, according to a survey. But they also added that the lack of time with their children poses a challenge.

This is according to the latest Graciousness Survey commissioned by the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), which tracks experiences and perceptions of kindness and graciousness.

The study polled 3,066 respondents via face-to-face interviews over two waves – from July to August 2016 and from December 2016 to January 2017.

Those polled also recognised the need to work together with schools and student care facilities, so that there is mutual support in inculcating moral values in children.

Besides a lack of time with their children, external influences such as friends and articles that their children come across on the Internet also posed as challenges.

Over a third of parents surveyed consider such external factors as possible causes of a child’s negative behaviour, including ungraciousness.

As such, parents have expressed the need for more guidance or resources on parenting techniques, as well as additional opportunities and activities to learn together as a family.

The study also found out that Singapore residents remain generally positive about the state of graciousness and kindness here.

More Singaporeans also agree that they can and should take more ownership in promoting and fostering positive social values as opportunities to do so present themselves.

Overall state of graciousness is stable

The survey seeks to find out respondents’ perceptions about overall graciousness, courtesy, consideration and appreciation.

The results showed these to be holding steady or moderately improving year-on-year. Over the past year, more people deemed that things remained the same – that is, no clearly evident improvements or declines in overall graciousness perceptions.

General secretary of SKM, Dr William Wan said: “I am heartened to learn that Singaporeans generally remain positive about the state of kindness and graciousness in Singapore, given the prominence of some incidents that have gone viral recently.

“We need to continue to strive for kindness – both online and face-to-face – so as to make society ever better and more positive, one which we all would like to live in and belong to,” he added.

More opportunities for interaction within neighbourhoods and at work

Respondents are generally satisfied with the current state of neighbourliness, and most shared that they exchange casual greetings with their neighbours.

However, more respondents also said that they are unaware of, or uninterested in opportunities to interact more deeply with their neighbours, and that they treasure privacy at home.

On attitudes of Singaporeans and foreign residents towards each other, there is more mutual understanding and appreciation of each other’s efforts to be welcoming and to assimilate and integrate.

However result showed that the interactions with each other are mostly at work and school, and that more could be done to create opportunities for interaction beyond such institutions.

Dr Wan said: “I’m encouraged to see people continuing to carry out acts of kindness.

“I hope that we will continue to amplify this in the decisions that we make in everyday scenarios – be it interacting with our friends at school, our colleagues at work or welcoming new residents into our neighbourhoods,” he said.

 Top image via Shutterstock.com