As I said in the previous post of this series, a virtue is a good habit that improves the operation of the Will and of the Intelligence. These habits are acquired and perfected through the repetition of acts, and specifically of internal acts. You acquire a habit by:
- the demand of another person
We as parents DEMAND from our children certain things to help them grow in virtue. Though this may continue as they grow up, the idea is that they grow in virtue by self-demand, because they want to be more orderly, more generous or sincere. The goal is that they grow in virtue BECAUSE THEY WANT TO!
1. Education by Example
So what type of example must we give? The most important example that we parents can give to our children is that they see us struggling to become better persons ourselves. That they see our effort to do things better, our desire to overcome our defects. It doesn't matter that they see us doing something wrong. We recognize it and then we struggle to improve.
You have to struggle to be who you want your kid to be.
2. Personalized Education
So each one of our children needs a personalized education. We need to know what virtues to foster and what defects to correct in each one. It is easier to maximize a strength than to correct a defect. So, to correct a defect you have to maximize the corresponding virtue. If Joe is selfish, encourage him to be generous. If Mary is lazy, encourage her to work. If Tony is disorganized in his school work, help him be organized with his toys.
We need to know how is a child at a certain age, what are his strengths and his weaknesses, to some, order comes in naturally but they might get angry quickly and vice versa. Some are more patient by nature but struggle with order.
The contents of this lecture were taken from different sources:
Educar la Voluntad by Fernando Corominas
Several lectures given by David Isaacs
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Pilar Caranti holds a Masters in Psychology from the Catholic University of Argentina. She is a Certified Professional Life Coach. Family topics and the education of children are her passion. She has given many lectures on parenting topics like: forming the will of our children, authority, education of leisure, pornography, etc.