I was chatting with the wife the other day (still a comfort after all these years), we were talking about Dr. Laura who is still on the radio, much to my amusement. The wife listens to Dr. Laura on XM/Sirius radio in the afternoons. I thought she retired years ago. One of my favorite Dr. Laura-isms was when she said ,”I don’t care if your kid is smart, I care if he is good”. Being good, living “good”, leading a good life and passing those good qualities on to his kids depends largely on how we as parents inculcate “good” into our kids.

Without diving into the nature vs. nurture debate (I lean stridently towards the nurture side) the examples we set, the lessons taught, the traits we emphasize and those we de-legitimize, their human development  rests mostly on acquired characteristics that we stress and formulate. And one of the most important traits that we can harvest in their upbringing is empathy.

I saw this the other day, these kids rock, my favorite:

This dog looks exactly like our “Brittany”,  a shelter dog that was hours away from getting put down. She was at the local shelter for over a year, kennel crazy to the point where she would growl when strangers approached, she had no hope of getting adopted.

More kids being selfless;

Since anything worthwhile requires contemplation, planning and scrutiny, a battle-plan implemented early and often will produce the best results. As the Bible says, “You will always harvest what you plant”, another iteration of you reap what you sow.

I admit it is a tougher environment now days to construct goodness. The push to aggrandize self-esteem and ego gratification is counter to empathy or selflessness;

We come into this world hard-wired to look out for number one. If you don’t believe it, spend some time hanging out with a toddler. One of the first words they typically learn is “Mine!” which they use liberally to claim the toy, snack or person they desire. So how do we teach our kids to overcome what seems to be such a natural inclination and be unselfish by thinking of others first?

I really like #6 on this list, positive feedback and praise for praise worthy actions goes a long way in reinforcing goodness.

Without going into the hypocrisy of some on the left and their bastardization of ,”What would Jesus do?” in their defense of the nanny state and  it’s far-reaching encroachments of our liberties, using the Jesus yardstick is pretty fail-safe as a model of behavior emulation; the blessings we receive in the process provides sustenance for our own well-being.

Providing the proper armor for their future battle with life and all the obstacles that involves is what good parenting is all about. The world is more dangerous, our existence in a decaying world more precarious, values of morality,  personal responsibility, obligations of being a good citizen, honesty, effort, fealty to a work ethic, even an all-consuming desire for excellence, blazing your own trail and not following the herd, these it seems are valued less in our society. “Think globally, act locally”, if this means anything at all, it means  saving that one starfish on the beach, raising the one kid that will be an real benefit to society and not a hindrance, listening to your inner Jesus and acting against self-interest, doing good for it’s own sake. We all fall short but every day is a new day, second chances makes even the tough challenges doable.

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Kids are pure. And they can be brutally honest:

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