Try these practices to help your child develop a healthy conscience. Remember to keep in mind your child's level of development and tailor your activities accordingly.
Most of us who live in this culture are all too familiar with a growing number of events and stories involving children and teens that commit crimes. The Columbine tragedy has left us with a deep sense of sadness as well as horror about what can happen when children grow up without a secure sense of being valued, and with an inability to feel connected to those around them. The news is full of stories about children who have infringed on the rights of others, sometimes very seriously.
In general, you should choose a daycare that will best reflect your style of parenting as well as facilitate good child development. The following checklist takes into consideration these two important guidelines, and offers some special criteria for parents who have children between the ages of six months and four years.
There is not a child anywhere who does not engage in play. In fact, we could say that play is the primary language of children. It provides them with a unique method for communication, exploration, creativity, imagination, and self-expression. It is a complete activity that draws on all of the senses and is laden with images and emotions, allowing the imagination to stretch out beyond the constrictions of language. Play is not only the language of the child, but a primary method by which children successfully traverse the developmental path from early childhood to adolescence.
In the last article (Early Adolescence: Part I), I described the major changes in development that take place among young adolescents during the years between twelve and fourteen. Included was a discussion of the onset of puberty with its accompanying changes in sexuality, physical development, and new focus on appearance. Along with puberty, changes in cognitive development revealed a new capacity for thinking about problems hypothetically, allowing young teens to begin to evaluate not only their own values and behavior, but also those of authority figures and peers alike.