by michael on January 3, 2011

A week ago, Sunday, December 26, I was interviewed by Dianne Linderman on her talk radio show, Everything That Matters, KMED 1440AM, Medford, Oregon, Live Call In Number: 541-770-5633

We discussed many themes of my book but focused on the notion of making children stronger. I gave as an example the incident where an intoxicated friend wanted me to return her car keys that I had taken. I was trying to find another friend who would be willing to drive her home. It was nasty. It was twenty years ago but I remember the event as if it were this morning.

The point I made on Dianne’s show was that children will become stronger and more independent decision makers, in this situation and in this type of situation, when they understand that yielding to the pushy friend means yielding to someone who is willing to injure or kill others, including herself. Thus, standing up to that type of person is a profoundly moral act and doing what you think is moral is also a profoundly moral act.

In my classes I teach that a child should not give up or outsource his or her morality to others unless it is justified by logic, evidence, moral reasoning and that the probable consequence of acting according to the wishes of another will lead to a more ethical result than if the child did what he or she initially intended to do. Consequences matter.

My interview will be posted on Dianne’s website within a few days. However, as I reviewed Dianne’s website, I found this illuminating article by Dianne on her website’s Parenting page:

How To Inspire Your Teenagers
By Dianne Linderman

Here are some key paragraphs.

“It is so important for both parents to spend real time with kids putting as many opportunities in front of them as humanly possible: sewing, building, cooking, welding, reading, writing, hiking, or any of the million and one real opportunities and adventures our wonderful country has to offer. Keep your kids away from pacifiers for your convenience, such as TV, friends, computers, hand-held electronics, anything that does not require family interaction. Give a kid a plot of dirt, some shovels, and some string to plant a garden.

Take them to the beach and let them feel the breeze in their hair while looking for treasures. Memories from fun activities build the foundation of interests. Make time for you kids, and they won’t go looking for worthless, time-wasting things to do, and they won’t look for love and acceptance in the wrong type of friends! When you build a real foundation for children, they will turn into interested teens!”

“How many teenagers do you know who have interests in healthy things, or even have any interest at all except in their My Space page? I have met so many teens who look at me with their goat eyes, and after a few words with them I find that they have nothing to look forward to in life.

Most of them have been spoiled beyond belief and feel there is almost no hope for a bright future, although I can usually dig deep and bring to the surface a little glimmer of something they were inspired by at some time in their lives.

Be a hero for your child and be interested in everything for them, so they can be inspired by you. Let them know that life is full of endless opportunities, not endless dead ends.”

Dianne talks about building foundations for your children’s interests, values and their memories. A lot of wisdom is packed into these two paragraphs. Please read the entire article

More later

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