We all want our children to be good. However, we rarely explain to them WHAT being good means, WHY being good improves their lives, and most importantly, HOW to be good. We often just toss out vague comments like, “Be a good boy or girl”, “That’s not nice”, or “Don’t be mean”, as if they were magical halos that will turn our kids into little angels. And when our kids act-out and need guidance we often scold them, using one-liners filled with blame, shame and fear, “You’re a bad little boy or girl!”, “What’s wrong with you?”, “You better be good… or else!”
At The “V” Channel, we believe ALL children are born with an innate goodness, and that parents, caregivers, teachers, coaches, mentors, and even school bus drivers, can bring out the goodness in our kids by teaching them the what, why and how of virtues.
‘NAMING’ THE VIRTUES IN OUR CHILDREN
Even the simplest moments can be ‘teachable moments’. For example, when a child brushes their teeth we can ‘name’ the virtue of cleanliness, “I can tell by your white teeth and bright smile that you’ve been practicing cleanliness”. Now filled with a sense of accomplish, the child is receptive to learning more, starting with the basics:
What is Cleanliness? Cleanliness means washing often, keeping your body clean, and wearing clean clothes.
Why practice it? When you practice cleanliness you feel (and smell!) fresh.
How do you practice it? Cleanliness means keeping your room neat and clean. It means doing your share to help your family keep your home in order.
NOT JUST FOR KIDS
As our children get older the teachable moments become more complicated. We can revisit the virtues for deeper meanings to help us continue nurturing our kids’ goodness.
For teens and young adults, cleanliness can be in the mind as well as the body. A clean mind means that we keep our thoughts on things that are good for us. We can “clean up our act” by deciding to change when we have done something we aren’t proud of or made a mistake. Staying clean also means keeping our body free of alcohol, tobacco and harmful drugs.
Adults can use the virtues to re-parent themselves. No matter how old we are, when we make a mistake, we can ‘clean it up’ by deciding to change, apologize if we need to and then start acting differently.
Cleanliness is just one of dozens of virtues to help us build a life of goodness.
PICK YOUR TOP TEN
Every child has different strengths and weaknesses. The following are our top ten examples to explore with your kids to see which virtues can empower them to be the very best they can be.
- Assertiveness empowers kids to express their opinions and ask for what they need
- Confidence is knowing they are perfect just the way they are
- Caring for more than their own self-interest
- Determination to hit a grand slam or kick the game winning goal
- Purposefulness helps them stay focused on finishing a difficult homework assignment or to beat a video game
- Courage to speak out against bullying
- Compassion to ease the pain of a child being bullied
- Responsibility (see SOM article) to not text while behind the wheel
- Respect is an attitude of honoring oneself and others through our words and actions. Treating every person with dignity and courtesy. WATCH THE “V” VIDEO >
- Truthfulness is the bedrock of integrity on which we build all our other virtues. An ongoing commitment to live by what is most real and authentic in our own nature.
IT’S NOT EASY…
Being a parent or teacher is the toughest job on the planet. Very few of us were trained properly. We cannot allow the busy-ness of life keep us from doing what we must do: Guide, support and inspire our children to grow up and become adults that make responsible, moral choices.
TRY IT FOR 30 DAYS
Keep it simple. Start with a 30-day trial period.
Week One: copy to come
Week Two: copy to come
Week Three: copy to come
Week Four: copy to come
Remember, for kids to become successful at anything; from riding a bike to playing a team sport or acing a test or video game, they need to start with the basics. They need to have patience. And they need to practice.
If we want our children to be good at goodness we need to start with the basics—the “What, Why and How” of The Virtues from A to Z. We need to be patient encourage and inspire them to practice virtues.
We can start by helping them understand the “What, Why and How” of The Virtues from A to Z >
LEAD BY EXAMPLE!
The best way is for parents and teachers to inspire their children is to ‘walk the talk’ and model the behavior we want to see in our kids. If you have any questions or would like one-on-one
LINKS TO ADDITIONAL CONTENT:
STAY TUNED TO THE “V” CHANNEL
As we raise additional funding we’ll produce new videos and blogs. We’ll also revise and improve our website, providing you with a world-class online destination and social media network dedicated to the understanding and practical application of virtues.
Special thanks to The Family Virtues Guide, by Linda Kavelin Popov with Dr. Dan Popov Ph.D., and John Kavelin, and The Virtues Project, a global grassroots initiative to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life.
“THE FIVE STRATEGIES OF THE VIRTUES PROJECT” ARE TRADEMARKS OF THE VIRTUES PROJECT INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION.
©2015 THE “V” CHANNEL CORPORATION. THE “V” CHANNEL LOGO AND “VICTORY VIA VIRTUES” ARE SERVICE MARKS OF THE “V” CHANNEL CORPORATION.