Raise your child to love. Fail and you unleash on adulthood a self-centred, complacent individual disempowered for happiness. The alternative is appalling. Parenting should be the ultimate win-win: get it right, and not only will your kids have the strengths they need for enduring happiness, but you succeed in your most important life project. So show your joyful dedication to your children in a thousand details, first of all on your face. From you they will learn that life is better when we live for others. Do a great job with your parenting, and your child will learn to love wisely and well.
Look under the Parenting for Character tab for practical advice about raising children to be happy and to make others happy. For richer detail, inspirational sources, and a truckload of hands-on ideas get hold of Parenting for Character. It started life as presentations of the best advice we could offer parents. It is now translated into several overseas editions.
Click on the Fostering Virtues tab to read about the strengths of character we all need.
Under the Science of Parenting tab find insights into how we develop virtue. We know now why example is so powerful, and what type of example sticks. We know how affectionate encouragement helps us learn better, and why impulses and fears can derail good choices and become consolidated in personality if they are not addressed. The choices we make, and the repeated behaviours we foster in our own lives and in the lives of those in our care, become easier over time because of the plasticity of the brain. Aristotle was on the money when he wrote, ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.’
From 1996 to 2014 I was the headmaster of Redfield College and then Wollemi College in Sydney and am now on the board of Harkaway Hills College in Melbourne. My doctorate described the neuroscience underpinning virtue. Parenting for Character is published by Finch Publishing. Feel free to drop me a line on [email protected]