Monday, January 17, 2011

Raising Children to be Virtuous-Part One

Some of you may have read this:

"Why Chinese Mothers are Superior" By Amy Chua from the Wall Stree Journal:

Here is my initial response. I plan to write more on it later.

Chua is defending the way she raised her kids, but it does not seem like she is necessarily condemning those who raise children differently. There is a cultural difference; the way Westerners raise kids comes from the individualistic philoso...phy that was there at the founding of our country. I think a lot of the way Westerners raise their kids are excessive and are not the best for their children. Raising children to be virtuous holy people is hard work and discipline is a necessary aspect.

We are not allowing our children to watch TV or play computer games. First, we do not own a TV nor do we want to, and second I don't think there is anything on TV that I want my children to watch that is not saturated with philosophies and ideas that I disagree with. I also do not want to be tempted to use the TV to "babysit" my kids. I want them to be able to entertain themselves. Gemma will sit and read books for up to 30 minutes sometimes and she is only 21 months old. We will show them certain movies when they are older, but there is no need now.

Also, I want our children to learn to be disciplined; this will lead to a virtuous life. I know that these are things I need to work on to. I think that the Chinese discipline, while it may get extreme, is probably better for building virtue than Western leniency.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


And apparently this blog is officially neglected. I have a post I saved back in July that I never finished. Since I last put up a real post, I have gone through 9 months of pregnancy and 6 weeks with a new baby! Yay!

So, now we have two little girls; one currently sleeping on my lap and the other in her crib. My main reason for writing it to discuss the adjustment of G. to our second child L.

G. was only 20.5 months when L. was born. Maybe we could have prepared her more for the several day separation, but when I went into labor 2.5 weeks early and we sent her to a friends house I was not entirely convinced that I really was in labor. She spent the two days I was away playing with one of her friends and being cared for by adults she knew well. The second night she even had Mark to take care of her. When she came to see me in the hospital, she first sat silent on my lap eating my snacks and then started playing with Mark's mom whom she had not seen in 6 months and completely ignoring me.

When we came home with L., G. was a different child than I had remembered. She had been happy, smiling, and enjoyed playing alone; she was then clingy to me, crying all the time, and wanting constant attention. I loved having a newborn, but had a really hard time with how it affected G. The first night home I cried, because G. was so different. I missed my happy little girl. One night that first week I put G. down for bed (I had not been, because of labor recovery and I needed to pick her up to put her in her crib). As we rocked in the chair I started crying again, and then I started giving her kisses on her head and she started kissing me back and soon we were kissing and giggling; my little girl was still the same. I had glimpses of her old self as the weeks went by, and I think she is finally getting used to the change of not being the only child. She is more and more like her old self and hopefully will soon be less and less whiny.

G. also wants to do everything L. is doing; such as when L. is being burped she wants to be burped or burps her baby doll. The best story is how G. "nurses" Baby Jesus from the nativity set while I am nursing L. Or when L. is having tummy time, G. lays next to her and tries to have tummy time also, and I have to sit nearby or L. will get kicked in the head. Today we were "play toys" (G.'s words) with L. by holding them in front of her. G. thinks this is the greatest thing, even though L. completely ignores it for the most part.

As for me, I need to work to give G. the attention she needs, but also help her learn about sharing her mom with her sister. I have noticed that with G., if I play with her first thing in the morning and right away after nap, she is much happier playing alone later. She just needs to be reminded that she is still loved and that mom still has time for her. And with time, my hope is that my girls will soon be each others favorite people, and that we will all be helping each other become better and holier. :)
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