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Early Childhood Moral Development!
Moral development has been a topic of discussion among most distinguished psychologists, culture theorists, and theologians for many years. Also, it is a concern of every parent. Parents should be interested in morality because it is what teaches a child to differentiate right from wrong and how to behave accordingly. Parents desire to raise good healthy children and to teach them to live by the Golden Rule, which is necessary for them to be able to make appropriate decisions as they develop in life.
Childhood Moral development is not something a child can inherit, but it can be developed in stages. The development of it occurs from the early childhood through late adolescence. The big question most ask is morality relative? Think before you answer Joshua Knobe Professor, Program in Cognitive argues this inquiry by saying “anyone who believe everyday morality is objective should examine the evidence.” In other words, should we be obliged to say that morality is something relative or something objective? Below are the moral development stages.
From birth to 18 Months
According to Ask Dr. Sears, infants do not have the ability to moralize because they are entirely altruistic, which means they have not developed the stage in life to have the sense of right and wrong. As an infant, they are basing their decision only on what applies to what they feel and their needs. For babies, mostly all they know is being fed and cuddled which feel right to them. Therefore, they are basing their feeling of what they achieve. And that what feel right. They take in morality regarding what feel right because it all they grew to know.
18 Months to 3 Years
At 18 months of age, toddlers start to develop the stage where they realize that they have rights and needs, but they are yet to grasp the perception of good and evil. As an alternative, kids establish their decision on rules. For example, a child understands it is not right to fight his sibling because if he does, he will be punished. To avoid getting into trouble, he doesn’t fight his brother or sister. Toddlers are at the developing stage to follow the rules, and they follow them to avoid being punished – they still don’t understand moral because they have not fully grasped that the behavior is wrong.
3 to 7 Years
From the ages of 3 to 7 years, children are growing up to take on family values. This is the stage in which morals are important to the child because they are significant to the family. Children are now at the stage of their life where the moral development are developing, and they are beginning to think for him or herself and able to reflect on how what they do affects other around them. They are not prepared adequately to take full charge as they still expect adults to take charge. But they over the stage of following rules because they are feeling the need to avoid punishment, now they follow the rules because they want their parent to view them as good.
7 to 10 Years
Approximately the age of 7, children start to realize that parents and people of authority are far from perfect. According to Ask Dr. Sears, children at this age have developed a stage of moral development and understand to perceive morality as a fair contract in which they know rules must be followed to maintain values and be liked. Children of this age have a developed a strong sense of what they want, what they should nor do or what they should do.
From the age of 11 and up to youth years, children increase their moral view and able to see and fully understand morality. They now see morality as a customary social guideline that benefits everybody. Adolescence still value rules, they also see them as negotiable. By mid-adolescence, children understand that they must make their own decision and following rules is a choice. They know decisions affect them and those around them. Adolescents no longer feel the need to fear punishment. They know when something is right or wrong. Although, they will base morality on guiding principles that are demonstrated in their daily life.
Childhood is one of the most memorable times in everyone’s childhood. Some people have real and positive experiences of their youth while some of the people have the worst experience with it. Some factors contribute to the right or wrong experiences of individuals with their childhoods. Nonetheless, playing is an important contributing factor in a child’s life. Playing is a child’s work which is similar to what parent does to be their provider.
A parent is their child’s first teacher, and they should make time to play with their kids. When a parent takes the time to play with their children, it helps them to learn the rules of the family and what is expected of him or her. Playing also contribute to how a child learns to act in society. It offers a chance for a parent to connect with their child. A mother playing with her son or daughter can be as simple as the baby starts to smile and she smiles back.
The importance of the early years is that parent provides real opportunities for children to learn and develop. However, the most importance of the start years is a mother makes it possible for a child to have fun during those years. Some of these factors have been explained below:
- Environment of the family
Family environment plays a significant role in giving a right or wrong experience with any child. Sometimes children have the so strong environment around them that they get entertained and enjoy their childhood in an accurate manner. In some cases, it is up to the children to make their childhood memorable. It is only possible when they follow all the rules and regulations and fulfill all the activities in time. For example, they should go to their school regularly and perform all related work before doing any other activity like playing. This is one of the important factors that contribute towards experiences of the childhood.
- Attitudes of the parents
Parent’s attitudes and interests also play a significant role in providing real experiences to the children. If they are really focused on the kids future, they will show concern and give a bright childhood to their children. They spend money on essential needs and wants of their children without noticing their needs or compromising their own wishes. It also gives a real experience of childhood to the children. In some cases, parents do not care about what their kids want to spoil the children of their future hence. It is crucial that parents should focus on the needs of their children and have a positive attitude towards their children.
- Friends circle
The circle of friends also plays a vital role in building a better experience of childhood. As we all know that a person is known by the company, he or she keeps. If the friends of the children are reputable, then, they can enjoy a healthy childhood. In early ages, children do not have the sense to make good friends so the parents and teachers should help the children to choose their friends wisely so that they can enjoy their best childhood.
- Types of experiences of childhood
There are different experiences faced by the children in their childhood. Some children face good experience while some face bad experiences of childhood. All the factors mentioned above contribute equally to determining the right or wrong experience of childhood.
- Positive experiences of childhood
Real personality and future usually express the positive experience of childhood. Sometimes children with the good experience of childhood go brighter in their futures and have fun. They don’t know how to deal with the situations carefully. Such children are used to getting the ease and pleasure throughout their early stage and get addicted to the same condition. If their parents are so rich and afford this all, then they will have no issues or problems in the future life.
- Adverse experience of childhood
The negative experience of childhood includes any type of bad omen that influence the early stage of the children as children, giving the single parent or the children whose parents don’t have any concern with the children childhood activities or future. Children are facing adverse experience with childhood often have a good future because they know how to compete in the external environment and how to deal with the circumstances. Some children may have an adverse experience of childhood because of lack of money that their parents could afford.
Children may face positive or negative things in their childhood, but the parents should try to move their children towards a positive way so that they can have a positive impact on their personality. Although it is true that children can’t eliminate adverse effects on their lives, they can minimize it as much as they could. In the childhood or early life period, the children should get as much fun and entertainment as they can. They should enjoy playing games, parties with their friends and outings with parents, but they should not forget to complete their daily schooling to enjoy a bright future as well.
Enjoy as much as you can……. Childhood will never come again…..!!!
Do you agree with the statement, "Enjoy as much as you can……. Childhood will never come again?"
Chart of Growth and Development stages
Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development
Stages of Moral Development
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© 2014 Pam Morris