Recognizing Our Teachable Moments
According to the authors of “The Family Virtues Guide,” difficulties and successes are both opportunities for us to develop character in our children. They are “teachable moments,” or valuable opportunities in which children can be helped to master their virtues and to understand the meaning of what they are doing and learning.
Learning Gentleness Through a Story
Stories are effective means to help children understand the virtues and learn how to apply them in their daily life. The following story extracted from the resource materials of The Virtues in UsTM Children’s Character Education Program, can be used by parents and teachers to teach children 4-7 years old about the virtue of gentleness. The depicted situation could happen in any school or home
environment and can easily be turned into a learning opportunity.
It’s the Season to Be Generous
The days before the new year holidays are the time of the year when we fill up the markets looking for gifts for friends and relatives. This often requires long days away from our children, returning to them with exhaustion from all the bargaining and decision
making. It is the season for generosity, but are our children getting the message? How can we help them feel the joy of generosity not just in this season but throughout the year?
I Choose to Be Gentle
“Gentleness is moving wisely, touching softly, holding carefully, speaking quietly and thinking kindly. When you feel mad or hurt, use your self-control. Instead of harming someone, talk things out peacefully. You are making the world a safer, gentler place.” The Family Virtues Guide The above definition can be used as a conversation guide to help children understand more about the practice of gentleness in their everyday life. An example of such conversation is given below. Practical demonstrations and role playing can also be integrated into the conversation.
Honoring the Child
W ith every generation of children, we are given the opportunity to support the moral advancement of humanity. Children are born with a sense of wonder, exploring and learning all they can about their time, culture and place. As adults we have the opportunity to guide our children in this construction of themselves – assisting them to be the noblest people they can be. By recognizing all of the qualities of good moral character in each child, parents can prepare themselves for the task of refining these virtues.