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:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111504576059713528698754.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

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.

2 comments:

  1. I think what the "Western" ideals started as, seeking religious freedom, based on Christian principals, and what it has turned into now are two completely different things. The original beliefs of the founding fathers hold more value than what the much more secular attitudes of today. Lucky for us, we have a beautiful guide to look to called the Catholic Church!...which teaches through "modeling" Christ to the world, with clear and defined "rules", and when necessary, coming down hard on its "children", always with great love :) I strive to mother like the Blessed Virgin, and in my struggles in parenting, I pray for her to show me how. :)

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  2. M-I am not exactly sure if the founding fathers had a clear understanding of the ethics of virtue that I am trying to pass on to my children. I think some of them may have. But I am glad you brought them up, because it is important to look at our country and its tradition and the tradition it came out of. For our country that is the British Isles and for us individually that is our ancestral heritage. Maybe in raising our children, we can look at the ways Christians in the past have raised virtuous children.

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