Morality

“To know the good is to do the good”, as Aristotle put it when referring to Morality and moral identity. Moral Identity is formed through a unity between self and moral goals. When Kohlberg talked about moral development in children, he referred to the stages they undergo to move towards making more moral decisions. Recent researches, however, refer to moral development not only in terms of stages and cognitive development, but a developmental process which is related to positivity and moral acts done out of joy and not as a form of self sacrifice. It is a combination of willpower, moral desires and integrity. Researchers have also concluded that moral identity is an integration between self concept and ideal concept i.e. moral exemplars usually have a reduced gap between their ideal and actual self concept. moral

According to Kochanska (2000), “A “moral” self is fostered by mutually-responsive parenting in childhood. Children with responsive parents develop more empathy, prosociality, a moral self and conscience.” Thus parents play an important role in developing a moral identity in children.

Psychological egoism is a closely related concept. Many researchers believe that the motivation behind morality is psychological egoism. Psychological egoism “is the view that humans are always motivated by self-interest, even in what seem to be acts of altruism. It claims that, when people choose to help others, they do so ultimately because of the personal benefits that they themselves expect to obtain, directly or indirectly, from doing so”

According to Rest (2000), kids moral sensitivity, moral judgement, moral motivation and moral action are important for moral functioning and are greatly dependent upon parenting, education and the general social environment that children have. Parents and teachers need to create a learning environment which fosters a growth mindset and grit, for children to develop morality.