Features of moral behavior of preschool children - Child psychology

Peculiarities of moral behavior of preschoolers

If we talk about moral and conventional rules, the difference between them becomes obvious for children not immediately, but their primary distinction is revealed at the age of three. Kids better identify situations in which moral rules are violated (such as the use of physical violence or verbal aggression), and consider them unacceptable regardless of the rules in force, while situations in which conventional rules are applied are not assessed so unambiguously by them (for example, if the child did not sit still during the teacher's story or put the toy in its place). Similarly, when the preschoolers were told two stories: in the first children played a game whose main role was called "fool", and in the second - the child was simply called a fool for the purpose of insult, it turned out that pre-school children quite well distinguish contexts. Most of the children claimed that you can play such games. Thus, it became clear that children refer to an insult (or other psychological impact), depending on the situation in which it occurs. This attitude differs from the physical impact on the child (since, as already noted, physical violence, regardless of the context, is perceived negatively by children). However, children of primary school age not only distinguish contexts, but also more accurately understand the position of another person who finds himself in a situation: schoolchildren show more sympathy than preschoolers who believe that "if this is a game, then there is nothing to be offended."

As an illustration of the tendency described above, a study may be made that addressed the question of how children share something valuable (that is, demonstrate prosocial behavior) depending on the results of the socially useful activity of the other child. In the experiment, children were offered to share sweets with their peers, taking into account whether other children did the same or better. The child was offered a choice of cutting four or 20 geometric figures from paper, after which he received 20 sweets (regardless of the number of cut out figures). If the child agreed to cut out four figures, then he was shown an image of another child with carved 20 figures. If a child cut out 20 figures, he was shown a picture of a child carving four figures. After that, the preschooler was offered a "share" sweets with the child pictured in the picture. Thus, in the study, the children either fell into the "well-deserved" situation. awards, or awards undeserved in comparison with the child pictured in the picture. Preschoolers acted in accordance with the following rule: it is necessary to reward the child who cut out more figures. When the students of the primary classes took part in the experiment, it turned out that they acted differently: they gave awards to those children who carved few figures. These data suggest that with age, children move away from rigid use of rules and situational contexts begin to play a role.

In the works of psychologists it is noted that the discrimination of situations with violation of moral and conventional rules improves with age not only in situations in which an adult is present, but also in the free activity of children. It turned out that children attending kindergarten have the advantage of distinguishing moral rules in comparison with children who do not attend pre-school. The ego is due to the fact that the distinction of the violation of rules in a particular situation presupposes not only knowledge of the rules themselves, but also relies on the experience of practical recognition of situations in which the child turns out to be. In this respect, children attending kindergarten have more advantages over children "home" who are less socialized.

Despite the fact that L. Kohlberg in his theory largely relied on the work of J. Piaget, the role of the action was not considered as determining for the formation of moral thinking. This is indicated, for example, by the nature of the method of investigating the level of moral consciousness (hypothetical dilemmas), which allows us to see only the attitude to the situation. In connection with this, L. Kohlberg later proposed a division into two types of moral behavior: type A and type B. Type A is characterized by a behavior more environmentally oriented, dependent on it, and type B by independent behavior oriented toward one's own ideals and responsibilities. It turned out that type B corresponds, in general, to the behavior of the non-self-dependent behavior, which we described earlier, setting forth the position of Gestalt psychologists. In addition, it was found that behavior of type B is characteristic of children with an internal locus of control. Thus, the main difference between types is in relation to the situation in which the child turns out, i. thereby (through the introduction of these types), the line of interaction with the situation is strengthened and the deficiency noted above is being filled.

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