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 […]

An Ounce of Prevention

Directing Behavior   Four-year-old: “Daniel’s grandmother died.” Mom: “How sad! Did you tell him you’re sorry?” Four-year-old: “I didn’t do it!”   God’s Discipline Discipline means “discipling,” making disciples or followers. I like the word “discipling,” because it puts the focus on the teacher or parent. The goal of discipling someone is to help them […]

Keep It in Mind

Scripture Memory A four-year-old came out of Sunday school saying his memory verse, “Children obey your carrots.”                   What’s a Memory? In one of my favorite picture books, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox, Wilfrid Gordon’s best friend at the old people’s home has lost her […]

The Five-Day Sandwich

Telling Bible Stories Creatively   A young boy listened as his teacher told the story of the Good Samaritan. When a character passed by the hurt man, she made the hurt man call, “Help!” But with each person who passed, the “Help!” got softer and weaker until the man’s cries could hardly be heard. After […]

Making the Connection

Lively Lessons A teacher of two-year-olds was teaching them how to pray. She would say a phrase, and they would echo her. At the end of the prayer, she said, “Awh-men.” All the children said, “Awh-men.” One little girl added, “And no women.”   Turning on the Light Learning occurs when experience touches truth. Mommy […]

What If ? – Two Questions about Stages

“Eighty to ninety percent of Christian young people leave the church after graduation from high school.” – Dr. Brad Widstrom (1)   Finding Faith – or Losing It? At this point, it would be unfair of us to leave the issue of faith development without addressing the current phenomenon that has sent many teachers, parents, […]