"With regard to the choice of friends and companions, again, we should train children so that we should be able to honour them with a generous confidence; and if we give them such confidence we should find that they justify it." SCHOOL EDUCATION : Charlotte Mason p.40.
This is the 4th post discussing six specific areas where parents can respectfully treat their children as a person.
The call on parents from this quote, to consider if they treat their children with respect, is a necessity. Parental methods used today, commonly focus either on things being to the convenience of parents or parents having an obsession in idolising their children. Neither could be described as "honouring them (the children) with a generous confidence." Rather, lack of confidence in children is widespread among many parents.
This is why I continue to return to Charlotte Mason's philosophy, both with her principles, such as "honouring (children) with a generous confidence", and also to study her practical methods to fulfil and train these principles in my family.
HOW DO PARENTS HELP CHILDREN HOW DO PARENTS HELP CHILDREN
FORM WORTHWHILE FRIENDSHIPS. FORM HOPELESS FRIENDSHIPS.
1. I'll adopt the phrase from last 1. Parents give their children little
week's post - Parents need to give or no material e.g.s of great friend-
their children "large thoughts" of ships. Movies and books with
what friendship is about. quality friendship stories are not
Great literature, movies, biograph- included for their child's viewing.
ys, folk-lore, even comics are a Anything is acceptable for viewing
huge source of worthwhile and reading. The likely influence
friendships to tap into. into the child's life will be self-
Look for elements of friendship centred.
such kindness, fun and enjoyment,
trust, forgiveness, perseverance,
honour and respect, helping at
cost to oneself, not being selfish.
Look at friendships in different
cultures, philosophies, lifestyles,
historic times and socio-economic
situations where children are given
descriptions and can see the
thoughts, practices, habits and
interests of people in valued
Charlotte Mason says that by child-
ren listening to, watching and
personally reading such material,
it is like adding "grist to their mill"
- children are given substantial
material to 'grind up' and apply to
their own relationships.
One e.g. CS Foster's Hornblower
book series or the movie series,
should be watched by all boys 12
years and up.
2. With the points above in place, 2. With the points above in place,
when your child forms a friendship when your child forms a friendship
with a child you think is not with a child you think is not suitable
suitable, let them be with it. In discuss every pathetic quality their
time they will find out the failings friend possesses.
of the friendship. If you do this on a regular basis
Parents do however, have a part and make a big deal of it, you will
to play. If the child deeply loves, dull the child's sensitivity to the
honours and respects their "vital points of character which is
parents, by freedom of their own the cause of most shipwrecked
choice, they will be keen to know lives."
and will detect what their parents' The child has no skills to use, test
opinion is of their new-found and make decisions about friends.
friend. The result is clear - disastrous
3. Parents freely discussing what 3. Parents either don't talk about
they enjoy about their dearest their friends to their children, or
friends in the company of the only rave on about all the ways
children. their friends let them down and
This is how parents show and criticise them in their children's
intimate to their children, what hearing.
they believe is important to look
for in friendship.
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ Where are YOU? Which side of the page are you on? Can you see effects of disaster or success in your child's friendships?
It is never too late to bring change into your child's life. Here's what you do. Re read this post again and put into place what you find is lacking in your family.
All the very best.