“I need a break”

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

When you have a child whose behaviour concerns you it feels like you never get a break from watching and worrying about what they are doing.  The constant wondering whether you should step in can be utterly exhausting. So how can you get a break from the constancy of feeling responsible for how your child is developing? One way to decrease …

Teen Brain and Technology

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked about the topic of technology and teens. Most of my colleagues have concerns about it for their patients. And most of my friends are concerned about it for their children. The stories of what looks like dependence on technology are everywhere: the teenage girl’s terror of losing her …

Why should I? Stage 6: because it’s right.

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Stage 6: universal ethical principles orientation.  Adulthood onwards For some, moral reasoning primarily becomes based on their adherence to a set of universal abstract ethical principles.  The person sees that they have a duty to behave morally based on these principles, and not: to avoid punishment (stage 1),  in their own interests (stage 2),  because of what is expected of them (stage …

Why should I? stage 5: because we agreed.

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Stage 5: social contract orientation. Teenage years onwards  Sometime post puberty the child begins to see the world as comprising many individuals and many groups, each holding different opinions, values and rights.  Rules are not rigid edicts, but are considered social contracts that are cooperatively made for overall benefit of those involved.  In developing these contracts, individuals make claims on each other, …

Why should I? Stage 4: for “us”

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Stage 4: social-order maintaining orientation. Late primary onwards In secondary school (corresponding with the development of abstract thinking) the child becomes aware of the importance of obeying laws and social norms to maintain a functioning group.  The motivation is not for personal gain or approval, but to uphold the obligations and duties of the group so it runs well for all members …

Why should I? Stage 3: to hear “good boy/girl”

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Stage 3: social conformity orientation. Primary school onwards In primary school the child is increasingly exposed to and aware of the various groups they belong to. The motivation for moral behaviour now moves beyond personal self-interest, and involves relationships with others and what others think of them…the wish to be regarded by the group or people in the group as a …

Why should I? Stage 2: to get rewarded

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Stage 2: self-interest orientation.  Pre-school age onwards In the early primary school years children learn that it is in their interests to behave, as then good things come their way. Their motivation is for their own benefit (“what’s in it for me?”), but they are aware that they need to behave in “good” ways (those that consider others interests and needs) to …

Why should I? Stage 1: to avoid punishment

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Stage 1: punishment orientation. Toddler age onwards. In the pre-school years, children do not have their own personal code of morality.  “The right thing” is what adults want you to do, and “the wrong thing” is what you are punished for.   So a good action at this stage of morality is one that avoids punishment.  Punishment is our most basic tool …

Why should I? intro to moral development

Andrew Wake Newsletter

“Why should I?” This is such an important question.  We all want our kids to grow up so they can answer that question themselves.  To be good people because they choose to be. Morality is the sense of the right thing to do, and it is something that has to be learnt.  When our child asks why they can or …

Its all about M.E.

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

“ME!” This is often a child’s main driver when an argument is occurring.  An angry child will generally just consider “me”…what they want.  Missing will be a consideration of “you” and what you may want, and “us” and what is best for the relationship. When your child uses the word “me” (or a similar word like “mine”, “I”, etc), let …