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 […]

Morality in Twos and Threes

As Eric Erikson pointed out, will is the strength that should develop at ages 2 and 3 years. That’s both good news and challenging news. It’s good news because it’s a sign that toddlers are maturing. It’s challenging news because it means they are now aware that they can make deliberate choices. With deliberate choices […]

Morality in Infants: Birth to Two

“We do not develop into the image of God; we are the image of God.” – James R. Estep, Jr., Christian Formation – Infants are born already having the internal capacity and sensibility for the development of an inner moral compass. But they are also born completely egocentric, which is the lowest stage of morality. […]

The Basic Elements of Wayfinding: Values, Faith, and Morals

“Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” – Psalm 143:8 – When it comes to making our way in life, few things are more important than our values, our faith, and our morals. These three influence our choices and determine the paths we take. So how do […]