Raising Virtuous Children

Last month, I had the privilege of speaking at a family conference near State College, PA. My topic was Raising Virtuous Children – a topic so broad one could write a whole book about it. I think I over-loaded the audience with too much info, so I promised one mom that I would post the talk on this blog. I’ll post it as a three-part series. Here is Part I of the talk on Raising Virtuous Children:

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How to Get Your Teens to Obey (the Right People)

When children approach their adolescent years, they sometimes revert to their terrible twos as they exert their independence and question our authority. This becomes an important time to work on the third degree of obedience: full submission of one’s judgement, for this is when obedience really becomes virtuous.

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How to Get Your Kids to Obey

In last week’s post, I touched on the importance of teaching our children to obey. We homeschool moms are keenly aware of the necessity of obedience, for without it not much learning takes place and the home deteriorates into a battle zone. Indeed, several moms tell  me they are reluctant to homeschool because their kids won’t listen to them. The reality is that many of us struggle with getting our children to do their work promptly, responsibly, and without whining or complaining.  Teaching our children to obey well takes a lot of patience and consistency, and it takes a lot of prayer. But the good news is that homeschooling provides us with ample opportunities to grow in those virtues and it gives our children lots of practice in obedience.

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Understanding our Children

Do you ever have times when your children’s behavior is baffling? Last summer, All-Star threw a foosball at our sliding glass window on purpose. His aim was shattering. Why an intelligent, well-behaved boy would throw a hard foosball at a glass window on purpose, I’ll never know. He never gave me a reasonable explaination for what he did, at least not one that I could comprehend.

Understanding our children can be one of the most mystifying aspects of being a parent. There are times when our children’s behavior or words leave us perplexed and confused: a daughter who bursts into tears when you mention the weather, a son who becomes sullen and dejected for no apparent reason, or a healthy child who pretends to be sick. Try as we might to understand their motives and thought-process (or lack thereof!), we are sometimes left baffled and bewildered. And this can be frustrating because we want to help our children, but without understanding, we  do not know how to deal with the situation.

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