How to foster certain virtues
This table has been taken from British educator David Isaac’s book “Character Building”.
Our culture today suffers from moral relativism which in turn brings forth selfishness. We don’t want kids that are lazy, selfish and want to be entertained all the time. Our goal is to raise happy, mature adults so that’s why it is important for us to educate in virtue. I am now going to write about three virtues in three different age groups and some practical applications: Order, Fortitude and Sobriety.
I said earlier that a virtue is a good habit that improves the operation of the Will and of the Intelligence. The virtue of ORDER includes order in the ideas (that is, it perfects the intelligence) and order in the affections (that, is the Will).
It is very important to start developing this virtue at a young age. An environment of order: in a home where the parents lead an orderly life, this order is transmitted almost without words. Order provides security and serenity.
1. Order in the schedule is very important and it’s the most visible one as things take place regularly and as planned. Your children should know that you eat, you sleep and wake up at a certain time; that there is a time to work and time to play and rest, that there is a fixed place for dinner and that dinner time is a family activity and not in front of the TV (unless you are from Houston, it’s the World Series and the Astros are playing!) or in any random place. These details that may seem unimportant are essential when creating an environment of order.
The schedule should also include:
* Making their own bed and leaving room in order.
* At least one hour a day in green space: biking, hiking, shooting hoops, watching birds, etc.
A side note regarding dinner as a family:
The Family Dinner Project states that: Over the past 15 years, research has shown what parents have known for a long time: Sharing a fun family meal is good for the spirit, brain and health of all family members. Recent studies link regular family meals with the kinds of behaviors that parents want for their children: higher grade-point averages, resilience, self-esteem and ethical thinking. Additionally, family meals are linked to lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders and depression.
Sports and Technology are ruining our family dinners. For one, our kids don’t know how to have a conversation, we need to turn off the screens to be able to look into each others eyes and converse during dinner. Have a daily technology-free family dinner.
2. Chain of events: that is events that follow each other and are repeated daily, because it is easier to do things that are related to each other and not isolated.
Morning routine: Wake up on time – use an alarm clock with no snooze, get up right away – Shower/Change – Make bed. Eat breakfast.
Or when they arrive at home after you leave your backpack in the designated place, you take out your lunchbox and clean it out, wash your hands, and have a snack.
Bedtime routine: take a shower, put on pjs, wash teeth, say goodnight and say your prayers.
3. Material Order:
Each thing in its place and a place for each thing.
Sometimes there is disorder in our homes because 1. we have too many things and 2. there is no designated place for that thing.
I speak with many families and many tell me that they struggle with order in their homes, I suggest to them to apply the Theory Z.
Having material order in our homes, in our cars, in our desks, brings order in the ideas and in the affections.
If we start fostering this virtue when they are young, when they are older they will have internalized it and live order because they want to!
The contents of this lecture were taken from different sources:
Educar la Voluntad by Fernando Corominas
Several lectures given by David Isaacs
Hijos Felices. La educación de las Virtudes by Diego Ibañez Langlois
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.