Pediatrics & Health Research Open Access

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Child development leading to the pursuit of virtues and the avoidance of vices

Gerald H Katzman

Optimizing the social, emotional, moral and cognitive development of children will support prosocial behavior and peaceful societies. To accomplish these goals, efforts need to start from birth with authoritative parenting to achieve secure attuned attachment between caregiver and child.  Such parenting should eliminate the toxic stress associated with the authoritarian approach and the lack of direction seen with permissive or uninvolved parenting. Early literacy is the key to building character using the vehicles of modeled behaviors, reading stories with a moral and that teach a lesson and Human Relations Programs for Children.  Benevolent mindfulness characterized by emotional empathy, compassion and helping behaviors will result from proper parenting and successful character education.  The resultant ability to think in a complex fashion where virtues are pursued and vices avoided should facilitate resistance to false narratives and non-violent conflict resolution. Avoiding Adverse Child Experiences has been shown to minimize depression, violence perpetration and other problem behaviors and disorders.  When there are educational and professional resources in play to support the development of children in communities, a responsible, caring citizenry can be anticipated.