Between the ages of 6 and 12 years, a child is in what is known as middle childhood, the time just before teenage adolescence. A child this age is developing in many ways, including morally. His moral development can involve honesty, loyalty, responsibility, kindness, empathy, respect and forgiveness. According to The Ohio State University Extension, raising children with values is an important part of parenting, and parents who spend time with their children have kids with higher moral development 1.
Children Can Be Nurturing
Children develop morality gradually and in stages. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service states that between the ages of 6 and 12 years, it is difficult to target specific moral development milestones because the development often depends on experiences. A child this age can be nurturing, can resolve conflict, think about her own behavior, talk through problems and consider how her actions affect others.
Children May Also Have Difficulties
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service points out that between the ages of 6 and 12, a child is exposed to several new people and situations. He may be in school where he experiences peer pressure and is connecting more with teachers and children his age. Because he is becoming more independent and requires less monitoring, he may spend less time with family. These new exposures can make it difficult for him to have a clear image of values and morality, especially if not all of his interactions are positive.
Model the Behavior for Your Child
Modeling is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate morals to a child. According to the Ohio State University Extension, you should respect your child and expect respect in return 1. Be an example and treat other adults and children with respect as well. You can also voice your moral reasoning out loud by stating why you do not feel it is right to do certain things.
Talk WIth Her About Values
Although modeling demonstrates values and morality, it should go along with conversation. You can encourage your child to think for herself by saying things like, "How would you feel if someone did that to you?" Have regular conversations with her about what she thinks is right and wrong, and how things make her feel.
Give your child a chance to practice her morality skills. Between the ages of 6 and 12, she can take on responsibilities around the house with an understanding that she is doing her part to take care of the household. She can also participate in community service projects, such as helping to collect for a can drive or cleaning up a park. You can also give her the option to donate items to charity.
- Dejan Ristovski/iStock/Getty Images