Tips for Conscience Building
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.
#1 Model Empathy
Model empathetic and caring behavior by treating your child with respect and kindness.
#2 Listen Actively
Listen closely to when your child expresses his or her feelings, particularly negative ones.
#3 Spend Time
Spend a lot of time with your child that is not oriented around discipline. Playtime is especially important for younger children. Chat time is important for teens.
#4 Set Limits
Set firm limits that focus on allowing children to experience the consequences of their mistakes. Promote responsibility.
#5 Do Not Tolerate Aggression
Take special care to notice any behaviors that infringe on the rights of others, even the family pet. Discuss and correct these behaviors through instruction. Keep in mind that aggression is never permissible, not for children and not for parents.
#6 Teach the Golden Rule
Take every opportunity to teach your child about empathy. The question to ask is "How would it feel to be in the other persons' place? What would that be like?"
#7 Allow Remorse
Allow and encourage children to feel remorse when they cause another person pain. Help them figure out how to make amends or repair the damage.
#8 Participate in Family Tasks
Promote your child's involvement in caring for the family. Let them assist with basic household tasks when you can. Establish chores when age appropriate. Help them to feel part of the "family team."
#9 Choose Media with Moral Messages
Make use of media that provides moral lessons. These can be books, television shows, movies, plays, etc. Discuss the stories to see that the lessons are understood.