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?

About Tara Edelschick

Right now, Tara is on sabbatical in Costa Rica. She is sleeping more, and exercising and flossing every day for the first time in her life. She is enjoying her husband, her boys, and Nafisa (the daughter she never had) more than she ever has. And she is learning to rest in the arms of the one who doesn't rank you based on how many things you can cross off your list at the end of the day. Follow her on Twitter@TaraWonders.