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Moral development . . .

Parents can help their children develop a sense of moral goodness with an accompanying feeling of obligation to do the right thing. The formation of “conscience” is promoted when parents nurture awareness and the development of feelings. Conscience is also promoted when parents help children understand that two people may feel differently about a situation, …Continue reading

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Storytelling . . .

Telling stories is one playful way to help children address important themes in their lives, particularly those that children might prefer not to talk about. Discharging powerful feelings connected to memories and experiences is important, though, so residual feelings are not left to bubble up later in life. Stress over family changes and other fears …Continue reading

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Internal conversations . . .

Self-talk is powerful because having conversations with ourselves—even silently—links thought, language, and action. Self-talk is really like a delay switch to action allowing us to think things through. Children are great teachers for showing us how language can guide actions. In fact, several studies have shown that children who talk out loud as they give …Continue reading

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Parenting kids in middle childhood . . .

As children spend more time in school, with peers, and in after-school activities, they spend less time with their parents. This shift creates changes in the parent-child relationship. Less direct parental control adequately supports the continuing development of children in middle childhood—aged six to eleven—as long as parents maintain love, warmth, interest, and involvement with …Continue reading

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Perspective taking in middle childhood . . .

Middle childhood typically arrives with major advances in the ability to take another person’s perspective. Children in this age group (about six to eleven years) have the capacity to imagine what someone else might be thinking and feeling. Over time, children come to realize that two people can interpret the same event differently. As youthful …Continue reading

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First friendships . . .

First friendships play an important role in the social and emotional development of your child. Typically, these first friendships are formed through interactions in preschool and kindergarten. Most children aged four to seven understand that a friend is someone with whom you enjoy playing. They can tell you a friend is someone “who likes you.” …Continue reading

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Disagreements . . .

Disagreements are merely differences of opinion. Since disagreements are unavoidable, the real key to disagreeing is doing it in a way that respects the parties involved. Kids need to learn how to respectfully disagree, and parents have an opportunity to teach this lesson. Here are a few suggestions: Listen to your child calmly and carefully …Continue reading

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The science behind play . . .

Play is fun and important. Play allows children to try on new roles, rehearse new skills, and learn about their personal capabilities and limitations. It encourages children to learn social rules and the difference between fantasy and reality. Play is also one way children learn to communicate. While your child is playing, he or she …Continue reading

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Good social skills and reading . . .

Learning, practicing, and acquiring good social skills is an important process. Good social skills include having the ability to grasp another person’s perspective, to create mental models of others, and to understand that the beliefs and intentions of different people may be unlike our own. These skills are referred to as “theory of mind,” and …Continue reading

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Values . . .

Parents can pass on moral values to their kids, but it takes a little thought and energy. Values are passed along based on what kids see and hear and by what they experience in their parent-child relationship. If they see honesty, they learn honesty. If they experience love and respect, they internalize love and respect. …Continue reading

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