I’d like to suggest that the key role of parents is to build “virtue” in their children.
The word “character” may be more popular. It needs the adjective “good” when discussing parent responsibilities. I’m getting a bit academic, but some parents, based on the example they are setting, are may be inadvertently developing “bad” character in their children.
There are also too many definitions for “character”. I prefer Merriam Webster’s “one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual”.
Educators like the word “values”. It also has to many definitions. For our purposes the most useful from Merriam Webster is “something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically desirable”.
I prefer the word “virtue” because, according to Merriam Webster’s “a commendable quality or trait”, it qualifies the trait with a very significant word, “commendable”. Merriam Webster cements my choice as it goes further with “conformity to a standard of right”. Parents need to focus on what’s “right”.
My research centered on the following three authors and their books:
- Thomas Lickona, Character Matters, Touchstone, New York, N.Y., 2004
- Dimerman, Sara, Character Is The Key, John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd., Mississauga, Ontario, 2009
- William J. Bennett, The Book of Virtues, Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y., 1993
The next post will show a compilation of the virtues that these authors considered most important.