One of the most common questions we receive from parents and educators is, “How do I introduce the concept of virtues to my children?” Getting started is the hardest part for any routine. Here are some tips for breaking the ice:
- Read Eutopia first. The main characters of the book series are children so that the audience can easily relate, which allows you to let the story introduce virtues for you. Then, it is a natural transition to talk about each virtue in depth.
- Find an opening in real life. Use a specific example of your child practicing a virtue (or perhaps failing to practice a virtue) to start the discussion. For example, if your child comes home from school and asks you to sign a waiver, talk to him or her about how responsible it was to take charge of getting it signed and turning it back in. Ask questions about the child’s understanding of responsibility, and share the Virtues Question Card with him or her to support your discussion. As the book was a stepping stone to introducing virtues, a specific example is a stepping stone to introducing the Virtues Question Cards.
- Make mealtime virtue time. An easy way to take the next step is to incorporate the discussion into a meal that you regularly share together. Ask how your child’s day was. Share with him or her how your day was. Within those stories, look for opportunities to discuss how to practice virtues in everyday situations or how to handle conflict. Celebrate when your child shows understanding (and let them celebrate for you, too!).
Of course, after a few days or weeks the new experience won’t be so new anymore, and using these tools will feel natural. When that happens, come back and tell us how it went! Is there something that worked well for you? Do you have additional questions about introducing virtues?