Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ten Essential Qualities for a Happy, Healthy Life

The Chicago Tribune ran a blurb on a new book, Great Kids: Helping Your Baby and Child Develop the Ten Essential Qualities for a Happy, Healthy Life.

I haven't read the book yet, but check out this list of "Ten Essential Qualities":

1. Engagement (relating to others)
2. Empathy
3. Curiosity
4. Communication
5. Emotional Range
6. Genuine Self-Esteem
7. Internal Discipline
8. Creativity and Vision
9. Logical Thinking
10. Moral Integrity

Wouldn't the world be a better place if every person had these ten qualities? I can use this list to focus on what traits I am encouraging and rewarding in my middle school students.

I'm glad he wrote the book, but wouldn't it be great if we didn't need it? It seems childrearing used to be intuitive, but now requires explicit instructions to avoid raising a menace to society.

Two of the most powerful ideas I ran across in this article were:
1. Learning to empathize begins in infancy. Suggest helping him/her tunes into others' feelings by making your feelings clear, in facial expression and voice.
2. Your child will learn ethics from how you treat him/her, not by what you say.

Ain't THAT the truth?!

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