There is a lot of talk in the media these days about childhood trauma.  Sometimes raising kids can feel overwhelming, particularly when you are in a fire family (schedules, shiftwork) and when there are just so many “parenting” theories and you wonder, how can I do this?  How shall I raise a human being into a kind and confident caring person?

I remember when I was pregnant with my first son.  I was so excited!  I was also in deep thought about how I would raise my child particularly in a time of so many gray area philosophies.

Luckily I came across The Virtues Project purely by happenstance and would study and become a facilitator for The Virtues Project with the focus on raising children of character- and would not only raise my children this way, but I was hired for years to speak at schools and preschools to talk to both the parents and the teachers – it was a blessing in disguise.

The Virtues Project gave me a lot of confidence as a mom and more than anything a mandate to follow that would both nourish my children’s spirits, but also give me and them boundaries and discipline that would grow them into the incredible young men they are today.  The Virtues Project is also SIMPLE and it works at a cellular level let me tell you.

First things first however.  As a parent you are not perfect.  You will mess up and screw up because while you are a parent, you are also human.  I’ve often said that our children are also our greatest teachers.  While one child may be easier, the other child may challenge you and force you to grow in areas as well.  I’ve always said, one child is your lesson (the harder one) and the other is your reprieve (the easier one).

So what I am going to cover over the next while are the 5 strategies for raising incredible children based on The Virtues Project.

What I would say as we embark on this adventure and this learning experience is that, your children are your most precious commodity.  It is also absolutely true that those first 5 to 7 years are the most important developmentally.  However, parenting does not end there.  Your teenagers are also in a very important developmental stage and they need to be raised more by you than their peers.

Parenting is a job for life and if you take the time to put their basic needs first, encourage them, nurture and nourish them, guide them, you will not regret it.  However, if you don’t, you will have your hands full of troubles in the future and yes you will regret having not taken time to raise your kids with both love and tough love.

So forget about the kind of discipline that takes privileges away, shames, or screams because IT DOES NOT WORK.  We are going to focus on CONNECTING and TEAMING UP with our kids so that what you teach them, guides.  We will talk about the Five Strategies and a whole bunch of other things over the next few months.

The Five Strategies that we will be talking about are:  Speaking the language of the virtues because it gets into the heart and soul of your kid.  We are going to talk about setting very clear boundaries (too many parents are over or under indulging their kids – we’ll talk about healthy boundaries so your kids MASTER their lessons learn and build confidence).  We will talk about using mistakes and errs and screw-ups as Teachable moments for both you and the kids.  We will offer what is called Spiritual Companioning which is a way to listen to our children and get to the heart of the matter asking specific questions particularly if they are going through a hard time.  We will also talk about Honoring their Spirit.  When we prioritize play, creativity, spending time together as a family, traditions and rituals, we encourage their wonder and awe and that will sustain them through the thick and thin of life.

Talk soon!  If you have questions pertaining to these write ups, please email me and I will try to answer them applying the wisdom of The Virtues Project.


Written by : Tara McIntosh

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