Friday, September 21, 2007

Enhance your child's moral reasoning with tools for teaching moral values

Just Like His Father? A Guide to Overcoming Your Child's Genetic Connection to Antisocial Behavior, Addiction and ADHD, AND The Child Well-Being Workbook introduce parents to the idea that genes code for temperament, and that temperamentally at risk children need intensive parenting. The books also provide a framework for that intensive parenting which takes at least 15 years.

The intensive parenting that at risk children require involves encouraging the development of three specific abilities I have called the Inner Triangle. These abilities are 1) Ability to Love 2) Impulse Control and 3) Moral Reasoning. On a regular basis I want to provide you with even more tools for parenting your at risk child.

Just Like His Father? and The Child Well-Being Workbook both include chapters on enhancing your child's moral reasoning ability. The process by which children come to understand morality is called moral development. During moral development, kids learn moral values. Values are emotional connections to ideas. So moral development means to fully possess the moral emotions of caring, guilt, respect and shame, and knowing moral rules. We may not think that guilt is a good emotion to experience. While excessive guilt is not good, recent studies show that too little guilt is a cause of behavioral problems. In order to have respect, children and teens must be capable of shame. So while shame is not a positive force in a child's life, it is important that children be capable of shame. Many child development experts agree that today's parenting practices are not helping children develop the capacity for moral emotions.

I have recently reviewed a number of parenting aids that will help you enhance your child's moral development. These may be found at The Parent's Store, Character Building Page and are all affordable. All the products in the character building section of the store will help parents of elementary school children and teens teach moral values. Moral values are a combination of moral thoughts and moral emotions. Moral values lead to positive character traits like caring, citizenship, cooperation, courage, fairness, honesty, respect, and responsibility.

Among current the list of recommended resources is a great book for kids What Do You Stand For? By Barbara A. Lewis. There is also a teen version of this book. The true stories, inspiring quotations, thought-provoking dilemmas, and activities in this book help kids grow into capable, moral teens and adults. This award-winning book is a must for parents of at risk kids.

There is also a book for young children, 26 Big Things Small Hands Do written by Coleen Paratore and Illustrated by Mike Reed. AGES 1-4, Go beyond “A is for Apple” with an alphabet book that builds character. As children learn and review their ABCs, they discover positive actions they can perform with their own small hands—like applauding, building, giving gifts made with love, helping, planting, recycling, and volunteering.

There are also games, magnets and stickers that promote positive character traits and values.

I am continually adding pages of resources to The Parent's Store. Some pages are simply links to recommended books, games and toys. If you have a product you would like me to review for inclusion, email me.

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