While I try to leave my work at the office like most folks, I find myself at social functions engaging in conversations with people who have a curiosity about my profession, once it's unwittingly revealed. By far and away, the most common topic of discussion and query centers around parenting and all of its related struggles. Overall, I sense (and share) a theme of concern about the future of our youth. Every generation of involved parents, teachers, and other role models seems to experience this fear, and often compensates with overprotection.
How can we have the most positive effect on the children we are chosen to influence? More than any other factor, the instilling of character molds kids into the permanent adult roles they will assume in society. Obviously, the sooner we start, the greater the impact. And just how can we do this in concrete terms that they can understand? Recently, I attended a lecture series entitled "Parenting", which was conducted by a local family physician. In his talks, he outlined a blueprint for raising children, built upon a foundation of character development that is rooted in both supernatural and cardinal virtues. I hope you find this abbreviated summary to be of some value, though it doesn't serve justice to his elegant presentations on the subject.
and in closing...We lead best by example.
More on character...
What are the opposites of the above virtues?
You'll notice that all of the above vices, with the exception of despair, describe a typical 2 year old. So children aren't born perfect, contrary to popular myth; and therefore require continuous shaping of character during development in order to overcome their natural afflictions.
What are the impediments to building character today?
The list goes on and on, and represents natural manifestations of society today. Therefore, we parents need to make conscious and planned efforts to engage ourselves and our children in other ways that are conducive to character development. For starters, remember the old-fashioned tradition of a family supper? In this era of fast-food restaurants and everyone living on different schedules, it's become practically obsolete, though sorely missed as an excellent opportunity to bring families together for ongoing bonding. Give it a try, and you'll probably agree that's it's the best daily hour that you can spend with your clan.
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