Teach the Importance of Small Acts

“Sow a thought and you reap an act; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” – Charles Reade – In his book The Road to Character, David Brooks wrote, “You become more disciplined, considerate, and loving through a […]

Give Kids an Emotion Vocabulary

“It’s not easy to learn to whistleif there’s no one to show you how.”– Janusz Korczak, King Matt the First – Remember that important milestone in moral development called perspective-taking? It enables us to see from another person’s point of view, to understand that they are afraid or frustrated or overjoyed or worried. Perspective-taking is […]

Have Rules and Communicate Them

“If a thing is right, it can be done, and if it is wrong, it can be done without; and a good man will find a way.” – Anna Sewell, Black Beauty – Most new parents have never taken child development courses, and many have never spent much time with children. Sunday school teachers are […]

Respect Children

“Children will not learn to accept and tolerate differences in others if they have not experienced acceptance and tolerance for their differences.” – Clyde W. Ford, We Can All Get Along If you’re a trained teacher or enjoy being around children, then you probably already respect them. But plenty of people become parents or volunteer […]

Speak to be Echoed

“Behavior is generally learned by imitating observed experiences, so the more examples of caring our kids witness, the greater the chance that those will be the behaviors they copy.” – Michele Borba, Building Moral Intelligence As my sixteen-year-old son and I stepped out of the Department of Motor Vehicles, I tossed him the keys to […]

Adolescence: Thirteen to Twenty

Identity Formation vs. Identity Confusion “[T]he adolescent period of life is in reality the one with the most power for courage and creativity.” – Daniel J. Siegel – As teens mature year by year, they leave the awkwardness of the tween stage and enter young adulthood. This is the last stage of what began in […]

Morality in Tweens: Ages Ten Through Twelve

“The years between 10 and 14 are known as the storm-and-stress period, because so much change – physical, emotional, social – can happen seemingly all at once.” – Sue Corbett – Tweens are sandwiched in an awkward space between elementary age children and the youth of adolescence. I say awkward because they have a foot […]

Morality in Ages Six through Nine

“Two important things to teach a child: to do and to do without.” – Marcelene Cox – Around age six, children begin to consistently discern correctly between right and wrong, although they still depend on rules to guide their behavior. From six to nine, they seem to have a strong, innate sense of justice and […]

Morality in Fours and Fives

At about age five, children move up to a new level of morality. They have a better understanding of the concept of consequences – cause and effect, if/then. They know they can be the cause of positive effects or negative effects. They can cause someone to laugh or to cry, and they generally know which […]