Character in Parenting
Yesterday, two columnists at Townhall.com, Mike Adams and Rebecca Hagelin, touched on the issue of parenting, especially how a parent's character can influence his or her children.
In his column, Adams wrote about a ski trip he helped chaperone for a church youth group last winter: . . .
One of the other chaperones was a former hippie from the 1960s. He's not really a hippie anymore, although he's still a liberal. Now he's raising four kids. . . .
[B]efore the trip was over, the [youngest] kid started bragging about how his family had twenty pairs of ski goggles, although they hadn't paid for a single one. "When someone leaves them at a table in the ski lodge, we just take them, don't we daddy?" My fellow chaperone quickly replied, "No, son! Shut up and stop being so annoying!" It was the only form of discipline to come from former-hippie-turned-daddy all weekend.
You'll have to read the entire column to get Mike's full and humorous take on the ill-effects liberalism can have on parenting.
Meanwhile, Hagelin's column, which discussed Betsy Hart's new book, It Takes a Parent, talked about the need for parents to persevere in their efforts to teach good character:
Most parents have solid instincts about what's right and wrong, and they have a pretty good sense of how to raise their children to understand one from the other. These parents make mistakes -- we all do -- but they learn from them. The trick is in sticking with it, day after day, for years.
But as Betsy points out in her wise and readable book, stick with it we must. Why? Because we love our children -- even when they're unlovable. And because, as she puts it in a theme that recurs throughout the book, "We need to be on a rescue mission for our children's hearts." The reason is simple: What we do is a reflection of our character. If we persevere in planting good virtues in our children, we won't have to worry so much about how they will behave under pressure. (Of course, we'll never stop worrying altogether -- we are parents, after all.) . . .
Why go to this trouble? Because, Betsy says, "Children are not born with wisdom. Wisdom is gained only through experience or through the experience of watching or learning from others and being able to apply that experience to ourselves. These things require maturity, and they require parents, and other adults, who are willing to properly interpret such experiences for children."