Doan Courant

The semi-whenever newsletter for one of the many Doan Families.

Monday, February 26, 2007

What shall my children become?

I had been thinking, even before I came across this article, of the personal qualities I would like my children to have some day. I am not speaking of spiritual qualities here. Like every good Christian parent I want to see my children grow in the grace of God. I am speaking more of temporal, earthly qualities. Every day I work with kids that are, for all practical descriptions, philistines. I see so many traits in them that I hope to God my kids do not possess. The aforementioned article has some great strategies. I hope I can implement them into my children. I have thought of some more traits I hope my kids one day possess.
1. Articulate
We live in an inarticulate society. If you have every listened to a call-in radio show, you probably know what I mean. It is rare to see an average person with a comprehensible communicative ability. I hope that my kids can express themselves clearly. There is nothing inherently wrong with slang and the colloquial. I hope that my kids can express themselves without always relying on these, though. There are so many words in the English language, and there is always the right word. I hope that my kids are distinct and precise in their communication.
2. Simple tastes.
We live in a complicated society. So many people have such complicated tastes. It takes a whole lot to entertain them. Many of the kids I see can't do anything without an iPod, or PSP, or cellphone with constant texting. They can't watch a television show or movie without constant action. People today have a hard time sitting still. I hope my kids can find enjoyment in the simple things of life. I hope that technology is not so intrusive into my kids life that they cannot exist without it. Our society is addicted to constant stimuli. I hope my kids appreciate the beauty of silence.
3. High standards.
We live in non-cerebral society. While it takes much stimuli to entertain, it doesn't take much depth to that stimuli to entertain us. So many of the movies and television shows and books that currently rank high in popularity are so base and banal. I hope that my kids are not afraid to think. I hope that my kids understand that that which allows us to stop thinking, or that which thinks for us, is not worth our time. Not everything we see needs to be a Bergman film, or a Shakespeare play, but it certainly can be more worthwhile than a Jerry Bruckheimer flick. I want my kids to be able to analyze the world around them. They should realize that the seemingly innocuous is often the most dangerous.
4. Kindness.
We live in a cruel society. People do not know how to treat each other. This is true especially of kids, partly because of their immaturity, but also, and more prominently, because of the world in which they are raised. Where in our culture do you see a good example of Christian kindness? When speaking to others, it seems the only options many people have is either bluntness or dishonestly. People will either "tell it like it is," nor matter how hurting, or they will directly lie. It is a rare occasion when people put others first, with no ulterior motive. People are always looking to make deals. This is not kindness. This is narcissism in its most destructive form. The result of all of this is that people have trouble trusting and truly connecting with others. Kindness is being honest, and sincere, and sympathetic. It is, as the ancient Golden Rule states, doing to others what you expect them to do for you. Many people think little of how they expect to be treated when they deal with others. Many people have no idea of what deference and propriety means. They act with little or no thought of others. I want my kids to be truly, Christly kind.
There are many more, I am sure. These seem to me to be so important, especially since they are so rare. The problem that I now have is inoculating these qualities into the lives of my children. How can I teach my kids to swim, if I myself cannot?
That is all.

2 comments:

Bradley Maston said...

Great stuff. I couldn't agree more. How do you protect your children from the media onslaught without sheltering them? How to you enable them to be aware of that stuff without falling into it? Great article.

Bradley Maston said...

Great stuff. I couldn't agree more. How do you protect your children from the media onslaught without sheltering them? How to you enable them to be aware of that stuff without falling into it? Great article.