Can You Help Your Children Develop A Conscience?

Jeff had to take Zach to the neighbors’ tonight so that he could return a stolen Pokemon card.

My sweet, rule-following, justice-oriented son stole a friend’s Pokemon card last week.  Then he announced the feat during an evening of sharing our highs and lows.  As his high.  Apparently, he believed that his friend had taken one of his cards.  And rather than confront him about it, Zach decided to exact his own form of justice.

There were lots of tears and conversation and consequences.  But in the end, I don’t think that Zach felt any sense of remorse for what he had done.  At best, he felt embarrassed and sad about disappointing us.  So here’s the question of the day:  Can you help your children develop their conscience?  Or do you trust that with time,  compassionate parenting and clear limits, your children will grow into a strong sense of right and wrong?

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