Saturday, May 4, 2013

moral development and crude justice

My younger son has always been.... strong willed. I strongly empathize with the older, Ben. He seems to always be trying,often with success to make the world better for everybody he is around. He also seems to expect (naturally)  to be acknowledged and rewarded for his efforts. He will sulk, pout and hide when disappointed or when he feels Justice (with a capital j) is not being served. He also believes strongly in rules and in higher authority. When there is an issue or disagreement you go to Mommy, Daddy, teacher,, policeman and present your case. Rules are rules and must be followed.
  Soren, on the other hand, has tons of empathy when he is aware of others pain. He will go to some effort,sometimes more, to alleviate suffering or create joy. However he seems to be a little single minded in his ideas. I remember him as a 14 month old fighting with Ben(who is 16 months older) Ben hit Soren and got put in the crib as a time out. Ben was crying about his Teddy Bear. Soren went and found Teddy and took him to Ben. On the other hand at nursery one day he pushed his best friend out of the tree they were playing in. When challenged he claimed that Henry was in the way. "well use your words first." His succinct answer " That takes too long".
  Now it seems that Soren has decided that he is the arbiter of Justice. He acts quickly efficiently and decisively when he sees that Justice is not being served. Unfortunately we often call this vigilante justice. He does not believe in going to authority (teacher,mommy,daddy) He proudly serves out Justice with no hesitation. I don't know whether to applaud his audacity or punish his arrogance or both....
  I told my older sister of this and of my sharing Ben's views on the matter. She tells me I was like Soren not Ben as a youngster. More cognitive dissonance!

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