• Today
    November 22

  • 04:44 PM

Teach children by example

CHARLES KNIGHTON,

Added 13 September 2017

letterpen423x6304

New Year, ‘New Culture’; Parents, Students In Joint Effort – DAILY NATION, Tuesday, September 5, 2017

WE WANT OUR CHILDREN to flourish, to live well and fare well – to be happy.

Happiness, as Aristotle long ago pointed out, resides in activity, both physical and mental. It resides in doing things that one can take pride in doing well, and hence that one can enjoy doing.

It is a great mistake to identify enjoyment with mere amusement or relaxing or being entertained. Those who have missed the joy of work, of a job well done, have missed something very important. This applies to our children, too.

How do we help prepare our children for lives like that? As always, the keys are practice and example: practice in doing various things that require a level of effort and engagement compatible with some personal investment in the activity, and the examples of the adults in their own lives.

The first step in doing things is learning how to do them. Good habits of personal hygiene, and helping with meals or bed-making or laundry or caring for pets, or any other such household chores, all require learning. All can be done well or poorly. All can be done cheerfully and with pride, or grudgingly and with distaste. And which way we do them is really up to us. It is a matter of choice. That is perhaps the greatest insight that the ancient Roman Stoics championed for humanity. There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes. And our attitudes are up to us.

Parents show their children how to enjoy doing the things that have to be done by working with them, by encouraging and appreciating their efforts, and by the witness of their own cheerful and conscientious example. And since the possibilities for happy and productive lives are largely opened up for youth by the quality and extent of their education, parents who work most effectively at providing their offspring with what it takes to lead flourishing lives take education very seriously.

Work is effort applied towards some end. The most satisfying work involves directing our efforts towards achieving ends that we ourselves endorse as worthy expressions of our talent and character.

Volunteer service work, if it is genuinely voluntary and exercises our talents in providing needed service, is typically satisfying in this way. The youth need experience of this kind of work. Perhaps so do we all.

– CHARLES KNIGHTON

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

VIDEO

BLOGS

KRYSTLE CLEAR img
THE LONG VIEW img
INSIDE EDITORIAL img
What's Trending img
MONEY MATTERS img
Toni-Ann Johnson img

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

POLL

Do you think children should be banned from minibuses and route taxis.

Yes
No
Unsure

INSTAGRAM