Creating Good Relationships
Edited By Vince Waldron and Douglas Kelley
Moral Talk Across the Lifespan offers a stimulating blend of social science research and moral reflection. It is a key text for courses in Relational Communication, Family Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Communication Ethics.
Chapter One: Parent/Caregiver-Child Communication and Moral Development: Toward a Conceptual Foundation of an Ecological Model of Lifespan Communication and Good Relationships
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Parent/Caregiver-Child Communication AND Moral Development
Toward a Conceptual Foundation of an Ecological Model of Lifespan Communication and Good Relationships
THOMAS J. SOCHA & ANGELA ELLER
Play nicely! “Stop fighting!” “Eat your vegetables!” “Do your homework!” “Clean your room!” “How would you feel, if she/he took your toy?” “Make good choices.” These are a just a few examples of the thousands of messages served up daily by parents and caregivers to children. At a foundational level, most of these kinds of messages are intended to halt children’s and adolescents’ undesired behaviors and redirect them toward more positive ones. But, simultaneously, whether direct (“What would Jesus do?”) or indirect (“What would be a nice thing to do here?”), these kinds of parental/caregiver messages also serve up lessons in morality—with sides of parental/caregiver power—intended to nourish children’s moral sensibilities, develop their consciences, raise their social consciousness, create moral selves, and more (for a review, see Thompson, 2012). Further, although these kinds of parental/caregiver messages may tend to figure prominently in episodes where parents/caregivers seek to “discipline” their offspring (Socha, 2006), they are actually a mainstay of the everyday discourse of parents and caregivers seeking to raise “good” children (Laible & Thompson, 2000).
Parental/caregiver communication with children is multi-purposed and multi-leveled, containing many kinds of lessons that can include furthering children’s communication education (Socha & Yingling, 2010), facilitating their moral development (Kochanska, Koenig, Barry, Kim,...
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