I have bachelors' degrees in psychology and metaphysics and have been studying and applying self-help and spirituality since the late '90s.
Many of us are aware of the phrase, “Our children are our future,” yet this very important, crucial message, for the most part, is simply ignored or left for future generations to contend with. Why? Do we not value our own future?
Why are we not planting positive seeds in our children’s minds and hearts so they can create positive ripples in the world?
We really don’t have a right to talk about how bad it is if we are doing nothing about it. Things are not going to get better by sitting on the sidelines. In order for things to get done, it is more than obvious that action is required! A garden is not going to thrive if we ignore it and do not give it the proper care and nourishment. And the same holds true in regards to creating positive change in the world. We must be the ones to bring about change and teach our children virtuous behavior.
Turning the TV Off and Turning on Our Minds
Creating positive change begins by recognizing the distractions and escapisms in our lives. It is very easy to lose yourself in the reality show or movie. Perhaps it feels good to know the character on the television show has it much worse than you, or maybe they are living the life you wish you had. Whatever the case may be, we have to ask ourselves these important questions.
Does this program help me grow as an individual? Does it create a better world?
If the program doesn’t inspire positive change, it is most likely a distraction; and too many distractions are counter-productive. We have to be mindful of what we are having our children watch. We should never use the TV as a babysitter.
A television program that inspires, enriches, and teaches important values is what we should subject our children to. It creates positive ripples in the world.
Teaching Virtuous Behavior in a Classroom Setting
Teaching Virtuous Behavior in the Classroom
Just as the TV can be used in a positive way to enrich and teach important values to our children, the classroom is an excellent place to create positive change. Imagine teaching virtuous behavior, such as kindness, compassion, and cooperation, alongside, mathematics, social studies, and science.
In the retail and restaurant sector, companies look for employees that deliver world-class service. They know that poor service by their staff will drive their customers away. Customers will happily spend their hard-earned cash for great service. Why? The customer could easily prepare the meal in the comfort of their home. And maybe the dish they are preparing tastes even better than the restaurant. But there is more to the experience than the food. Here is what happens:
There is a beautiful energetic exchange that is taking place, and that is why the customer will return repeatedly to the restaurant.
That server that you love to see at the restaurant does more than place your meal at your table:
He or she is fully present, treats you with respect, attentive, caring, compassionate, cooperative, loving, and kind.
In the classroom, virtuous behavior can be taught via children’s books, stories, movies, activities, and sharing. And as a result, beautiful seeds will be planted in the child’s heart and mind. The child will not only be better behaved in the classroom and at home, but they will naturally want to go out into the world and make a positive difference.
Setting the Positive Example
As a parent or adult, we have a responsibility to set a positive example for our children.
Children naturally look up to us for support and guidance. If we are behaving poorly or acting irresponsible, we are setting them up to repeat the same. The phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do,” will not deliver a desired outcome. If you wish your child to treat you with respect, then it is essential to treat them with respect as well. Do not talk down to your child. Your child, believe it or not, can teach you something. We are all students and teachers at the same time.
Even before a child can form sentences, they are observing our behavior. They watch how we interact with others and the world.
Being a Positive Activist for Our Children
As a responsible and caring parent, you may come to the conclusion that you will need to go above and beyond your home environment to influence positive change in the world. You may wish to have a meeting with the teacher and principal to discuss the importance of teaching virtuous behavior in the classroom. You may decide to form a Meetup group or write letters to spread the message. You may even wish to use the creative arts, such as writing, music, theater, art, movie, and video to teach children these essential virtues.
The Best Time Is Now
The best time to begin teaching virtuous behavior to our children is now. We can no longer afford to postpone it for future generations. It is time to be responsible and accountable for our actions or lack of actions. Let’s be inspirational. Let’s make it happen. We need to do this for children. We need to do this for the well-being of our planet.
Our children are our future!
"All the Beautiful Girls" - Leslie M. Fatland (Wheeler)
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Dianna Mendez on February 19, 2017:
I find treating children with respect will go a long way in building character and trust. Great tips on helping children to gain virtuous behavior.
VioletSun from Oregon/ Name: Marie on January 27, 2017:
Terry, It's an excellent idea to teach children the virtues behavior! It seems we have more bullies these days because of the Internet and lack of parental guidance. I posted a Michael Jackson video on FB where he shared his spiritual views that children are our future.