In the world of the mothering there is so much to teach our kids and if you homeschool then so much more… we want our kids to grow up to be honorable men and women, we have a mental list of virtues that we would like them to have as adults. Courage, perseverance, responsibility, self-discipline, compassion, loyalty, honesty… and more!!! Somewhere between teaching to tie laces and how to make a sandwich our mental list of “must teach lessons” can quickly become a list of good intentions!!! Often the thought of teaching these valuable lessons is just overwhelming.
It is easy to mark a math sheet and it is easy to tick an essay off the list. It is not so easy to teach your child how to respect others and to gather up an honorable character in the walk of life. Everybody knows that we all follow examples and not advice. And thats why these lessons are so hard to teach. Most folk do not learn from lectures… nothing will glaze your child’s eyes over faster – no matter how old they are. It is up to us to provide them with great examples of honorable men and women.
So where do you find examples of honorable men and women for our children to emulate:
- Surround them with honorable people: There are people that we all know that we look up to and respect… let your children hang out with them. Invite them to dinner, have them round for coffee and let your kids have chance to chat with them and learn from them. Talk about them, what is admirable about them, what do your kids like about them?
- Introduce them to folks from all walks of life: We are lucky to live in a part of the world where there are so many eclectic cultures… the more folk you know from different cultures the easier to is to understand and relate to them. The more friends you have across all walks of life the easier it is to be respectful of folks who don’t have the same lifestyle as your own.
- Bible Characters: There are so many great heroes in the Bible and if you read their stories many of them failed at one time or another. Despite their mistakes they were great examples of men and women filled with honorable traits. Talk to your children about their favorite characters, discuss the great things they did and ask what they would have done in the same situation.
- Read to them about honorable people: Share biographies at the dinner table… a chapter a night. It is amazing how much your kids will learn from a book that is just read to them without an associated lecture – they do get it, we don’t have to explain everything.
- Make sure they have lots of time to hang out with their siblings: It is often so easy to get caught up in activities and not even have time to hang out with our own brothers and sisters but often it is close to home that we learn a lot about coping with others who may have different opinions. Let your kids sort out their differences, talk about how it would feel to be the other person in a squabble.
- Take a look at themselves: Often we overlook how great our own kids are. Encourage them when they do well… I don’t mean over praise… but I do think that when one of my kids has done something especially thoughtful it is worth encouraging. Encourage them to serve each other and surprise each other with something lovely. An offer to read a younger sibling a story, to secretly do an older siblings chore before they get to it.
- Read endless stories to them: Books are packed with noble characters and lots of less than noble characters. The world of stories is a great place to meet and talk about those folk that are outstanding and those that aren’t. Let the goodness rub off on your kids. Take Heidi for example, she wasn’t perfect and got into lots of scrapes, but she was a great kid with outstanding virtues. We can all learn a lot from the characters within the pages of a fabulous book.
- Be the good example: I think we often avoid these lessons because we feel like such failures but our kids are indeed watching our every move anyway. Of course we make mistakes, but I think that is when they are observing us especially closely. They will learn from our apologies!!! And how do we react to our mistakes… Just what do you do when you are running late? What do you do when you forget something important? Our kids are watching and learning.
And the se7en + 1th idea:
We have another fun GiveAway for you this week, DayOne Publications have brought out a new series:
The stories are about Peter and Liesl, two regular children – just like yours, who have some interesting adventures… In the first book they learn that the animals in the forest can speak… and they learn about what to do when you are scared… it is a lesson on courage. The second book is about Timidy, a young squirrel, who didn’t listen and wandered too far from home… he gets into a bit of a pickle, but manages to dash home to safety just in time. The books are large format paper back books, they have interesting illustrations and provide lots of place for discussion. Each story is split into a couple of very short chapters interspersed with discussion pages and things to think about.
This GiveAway works in the usual way, comment before the end of this coming Sunday, 18 March 2012, and we will draw and publish the winners next week! – I won’t respond to your comments as I do on our other posts because I don’t want to be included in our own giveaway.
As usual I have to thank CBD, our GiveAway book suppliers of more great books.
Our GiveAways are open to everyone: If you have won a GiveAway before never fear – enter away. If you live on the far side of the world – enter away. Postage takes forever from here but eventually it should get to you! Good luck and get commenting!!!