Raising Children of Character: 10 Principles

by Tom Lickona, PhD "Raising a civilized child takes 20 years of constant teaching and another 10 of review." — Judith Martin (Miss Manners) Parenting is arguably the hardest job there is and the one for which we get no training. Here are ten principles of parenting that can guide us in the demanding work of raising children of character. 1. Make Character Development a High Priority One of my college students, reflecting on her character development, wrote: “I was an only child, and my parents let me have my own way most of the time. I know they wanted to show how much they loved me, but I have struggled with selfishness my whole life.” We need to view our children as adults-in-the-making. What kind of character do we want them to possess as grown men and women? Will they be generous and responsible adults? Will they make loving husbands and wives, and capable mothers and fathers? How is our approach to parenting likely to affect these outcomes? 2. Be an Authoritative Parent Parents must have a strong sense of their moral authority— their right to be respected and obeyed.   Psychologist Diana Baumrind's research has identified three styles of parenting: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. Authoritarian parents use a lot of commands and threats but little reasoning. Permissive parents are high on affection but low on authority. By contrast, authoritative parents are high on authority, reasoning, fairness, and love. The authoritative parent "explains reasons behind demands, encourages give and take, and sets standards and enforces them firmly but does not regard self as infallible." Baumrind finds that at...

February 2006: Abstinence, Effects of Premarital Sex

One in 100 US Deaths is Related to Sexual Behavior 500,000 Students to Receive Abstinence until Marriage Message in South Africa Harris Poll Shows Young People Think Abstinence Education Works New Study on Character Dev’t and American High Schools Premarital Sex May Cause Depression   ONE IN 100 US DEATHS RELATED TO SEXUAL BEHAVIOR, according to a new study. Rates of illness and premature death attributable to sexual behaviour in the United States are triple the rates in other wealthy nations, the authors say. Using updated data from the 1996 US burden of disease study, the researchers reported that 29,782 deaths in 1998 could be attributed to sexual behaviour, constituting 1.3% of all deaths in the United States that year. They calculated a total of more than one million disability adjusted life years (DALYs) in 1998 and more than 20 million adverse health events attributable to sexual behaviour. DALYs are a time based composite of years of life lost to premature death or disability. [bmj.com, 02/05/05; Abstinence Clearinghouse Update, 9Feb06] 500,000 STUDENTS TO RECEIVE ABSTINENCE UNTIL MARRIAGE MESSAGE IN SOUTH AFRICA. Abstinence Clearinghouse international affiliate, New Life Family & Crisis Pregnancy Center, is facilitating four abstinence workshops in South Africa that will reach over 500,000 children. 3,000 educators of Grades 4, 5 and 6 in the Eastern Cape will be trained in abstinence education during this three year project with Focus on the Family. These teachers will then present the curriculum to their pupils as a high impact workshop over 4 to 5 days. Over 500,000 children will hear the character and abstinence message by the end of May...

Risk ELIMINATION Education & Strategies

The Medical Institute is offering training in Medical Accuracy in 2008. Contact the Medical Institute at 512.328.6268 for information.   Project Reality Announces Online Training in 2008 Project Reality is now offering online courses for the Navigator teacher training curriculum. This curriculum is used in grades 8 through 12. Contact Project Reality to find out about participating in this World Class Training: Project Reality's Florida office 239.659.1095.     A Vital Part of Changing Young Lives This is the summary of a WAITS Abstinence Training session by Gary Brown of Education Connection. Gary is a Risk Elimination educator in Georgia. Youth Development Generally, 80-87% of the students of any given student class are movable and open to listen to a presentation about abstinence & chastity. About 13% of the students are not favorable. They may be “nice”, but they don’t agree with abstinence and will become, or remain, sexually active. Character, Morals, and Values Abstinence needs to be added to the list of character traits taught to our children: “Character is who we are when no one else is looking.” “No IV drugs, no sex till marriage – AIDS would be wiped out in one generation.” Gaylan Cole, M.D. [CDC epidemiologist] & George Smith, M.D. It costs about $30,000 – $50,000 per year for medication for one AIDS patient.  We need to get the message to kids that it’s very simple to avoid AIDS! AIDS is acquired – stay away from sexual activity –> avoid the risk –> avoid the disease…   Teen Sex Scene The average male sex partner is an adult, more than 3 years older than the girl. Actually, 70% of...