Parenting the Heart of Your Child: Teaching Your Kids to Make Good Decisions Even When No One Is Looking - Diane Moore

Diane Moore was teaching a parenting seminar at our church which I wasn't able to attend, but I got the book anyway. Of course, there are so many parenting books out there, from a Biblical perspective or otherwise, that sometimes I really wonder if I need any more. I was pleasantly surprised at this one, which is actually more about moral development than specific parenting techniques. It's actually an approach that I hadn't heard of before, and addresses the motivations behind discipline and teaching instead of the actual methods.

At the root of Moore's book is psychologisy Lawrence Kohlberg's theory on "the six stages of moral development." Moore draws a parallel between Kohlberg's studies and her own studies of the Bible, particularly the way God treats people throughout the story of the Israelites and the early church.

The six stages are:
- fear of punishment
- anticipation of reward
- crude conformity (peer pressure)
- majority rules
- self-evident truths
- love and truth

(The 6 stages are further divided into "levels" of two stages each.) The idea is that people progress through the various stages of moral development and that different motivations are needed at each stage; also, people tend to understand only one stage beyond the stage they usually operate in. So, for example, it's not as useful to talk about taking a vote if a child generally only grasps "fear of punishment."

Moore's writing is easy to read and sprinkled with anecdotes—some of them a little cheesy, but not too bad. Each chapter ends with a one-page summary, which is handy for going back and reviewing later. It is a bit redundant, though, to have summary pages for the short "level" chapters, which are simply summarizing the previous two "stage" chapters.

This book is geared towards parents who want to raise their kids according to Biblical principles, and plenty of Scripture is quoted and given as examples. However, it also serves as an easy-to-understand explanation of the stages of moral development, and gives tips on how to help your kids (or yourself) progress through the stages. I'd recommend it to any parents who are still stuck at "You be good, or else...!"

Fed to jonathan's brain | June 08, 2006 | Comments (0)


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