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Development Across the Life Span

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Development across the life span

The first time I knew something about psychology was in high school. The psychological consultation teacher in our school gave two lessons in my class. Her introduction about psychology makes me interested in it. Apart from the knowledge of learning I have mentioned in reflective journal 1, another concept which attracts me is moral development.

In Kohlberg’s theory, there are three levels of morality. They are pre-conventional morality, conventional morality and post-conventional morality. Each level has two stages. Different stage has different orientation which is doing what is right because of different kinds of things.

When we grow up, our morality develops step by step. I would like to talk about some observations of my cousin. When he was 6 years old, he was very naughty. One day he and his parents visited us and I played games with him. Later, he went to my study when I was watching TV. When I wanted to start doing my homework, I found that he drawn something on my homework, which spoiled my homework. After that, his mother was strict with him and punished him. At first, he did something like that very often. However, he began to be more well-behaved after being punished for several times. In the Kohlberg’s studies of how children reason about moral dilemmas, he found that children who is very young obey the rules because of fearing being punished if they break them. I think my cousin stop doing bad things because he fears punishment. It is stage 1 of moral development.

Can the moral sense and the desire to behave well with others be shaped by some specific ways of child rearing? Of course! Parents plays an important role in children’s moral development, but what kind of parental technique can create well-behaved, kind, unselfish children? Last year, there was a controversial topic about tiger mother. Some people criticize it while some consider it is a good way. I think parents’ method should depend on the kind of children they have. One assumption analyzes that infants and toddlers who show high levels of distress and irritability are more responsive to, and influenced by, styles of parenting than easygoing babies are. When temperamentally difficult babies have impatient or rejecting parents, they later tend to become aggressive. When they have patient or supportive parents, they become better-natured and happier. In contrast, easygoing babies may not benefit as much from good parenting nor suffer as much from bad parenting because they are easygoing (Belsky, Bakermans-Kranenburg, & van IJzendoorn, 2007). In view of this, parents should try to find the best way to educate their children.

Recently, FB CARES co-operated with MSF to launch a campus exhibition named “Create awareness, Inspire action” in our school. MSF is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. It launches the exhibition in order to raise public awareness of recent MSF projects. I am one of the volunteers to help manage the campus booths. I am enthusiastic about it because I enjoy being a volunteer, but many people just pass by without stopping. They do not pay attention to it and even reject our leaflets. I try to think about the reasons from psychological perspective. I think it shows that these people have something poor in stage 4 of moral development. Stage 4 is doing what is right because it is our duty and helps society. Stopping for a while and listening to our introductions of MSF is a kind of behavior to help society. However, they do not care about what is happening in our world and what is happening to those poor needy people. They lack of a sense of social responsibility. In fact, moral development extends beyond childhood and changes across lifespan. I think we should do something to promote moral development instead of just focusing on study or work.

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