Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Learning to Love Limits [together ... at the dinner table]

One of the worst things you can convey to kids is “You can do anything you put your mind to”. The idea that nothing should get in the way of their 'willing' something to be. I think that this is a really pernicious thing that denies their ‘createdness’... that denies the fact that their gifts are tied with limits that God has established. God has created them with a particularity that doesn’t include everything and shouldn’t include everything, otherwise they wouldn’t be the particular person they are. …Now, how does that [great childrearing] happen? You don’t lecture about that; you don’t put an outline on the blackboard. This happens largely through the ritualized aspect of life. I often say that it starts with having meals together regularly. That’s the place where most orientation in life begins. All of you who’ve raised children know that this is the beginning of civilization – teaching your children to eat and not be barbarians.
-Ken Myers
[At this point, DW mentioned establishing a set pattern within his home of dinner at 6, then cleanup followed by dessert at 7 and the reading of Scripture, catechism, or literature and discussion, sometimes for hours.]

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