The minds of children are like sponges because they are constantly absorbing knowledge of the everyday world. This is a fascinating age, yet it can be very delicate. Children pay attention to every answer and every reaction a parent gives. So when a child makes a mistake or behaves badly, they naturally absorb the reaction of the adults around them. This absorption can affect the probability of the child behaving badly again. So as a parent or guardian, how do you react?
According to Piaget, children between 7 and 11 focus more on the amount of damage done, rather than the motives or intentions. This is due to moral development being inhibited by cognitive development. Although over time the children will focus more on the intentions, what do parents do in the meantime? Parents generally want to raise their children to be kind and gentle people, yet Piaget claims that during this certain age gap, children are cognitively unable to understand the severity of minimal yet intentional damage. This makes it extremely difficult to discipline bad behavior at this age. Should parents still try to instill these good morals in their children who are in this age group? Should they do this by setting good examples or by disciplining their children? If they choose the latter of the two methods, is this morally acceptable of the parents since understanding the punishment is beyond the child's cognitive development?