Our granddaughter is in kindergarten.
Before she entered those hallowed halls of higher learning – though the color of the tiles has changed they’re still the same halls down which I walked, and it’s still the very same classroom where I sat over 60 years ago where she now sits – I jokingly reminded her that her teacher should be given an opportunity to talk too.
She has learned her shapes and, having drawn them for me one day after school, she wondered if I could identify what they were.
Pointing at the first she said, “What shape is this?”
“Triangle!” I blurted out, really a pretty good kindergartner’s rendition.
“Did I call on you?” she said, hands on her hips, gaze stern.
“You must first raise your hand and be recognized.”
Just two months into kindergarten, she’s already decided she wants to be a teacher.
Duly chastised, I meekly raised my hand.
“That’s a triangle.”
“Correct. Now let’s move on.”
There’s an interesting article in this past October 2 edition of the Deseret News in which author Jennifer Graham investigates when and where character is formed in kids.
While there are several factors – personality, environment, and time – and many who play a part – teachers, coaches, and peers – the predominate influence and common denominator by which kids with character are raised, are parents.
Elizabeth Vozzola, psychology professor at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut said that “children who have particularly close relationships with parents, and teens who are religious, tend to hold to the norms of their church and their parents, and withstand social pressure of the teen years.”
I am reminded of the warning posted on the reader board sign out front of our granddaughter’s school: ‘Children will be released early’ followed by the date at which this early release – hence the warning – would occur.
And it is a warning, winsome and warm that brings a smile but a warning nonetheless.
When these children – and grandchildren – of ours are released one day to the community, the character shaped in the home – and yes, the school and in sports and in churches – will one day serve us so well when faced with choices difficult to make, and crises we could not have imagined.
Touching and cleverly recounted. Thank you for sharing a story that will be told around your family dinner tables for years.
David Anderson says
Thank you for saying ‘thank you’! Indeed it is – as it always is with a full house – a story – and many like them – that we all delight in telling and retelling. Happiest of Happy Thanksgivings!
John Arbeeny says
I think that the early establishment of values is key in the formation of a child’s character. Religion and education are among the ways of accomplishing this when those values are conservative, unchanging, and easy to understand. They serve as a yard stick against which to measure the world around you and how you fit into it. It gives a sense of surety and security to one’s life: you don’t have to endlessly go searching for yourself or explore the limits of unknown boundaries in your life. We already have centuries of practical experience to obviate the need for each individual to “re-invent the wheel”. Lacking such a moral compass which always points “north” the predictable result is uncertainty, constant apparently random change and a fluid morality that is situational. It might be suggested that spending your life finding yourself and the reality that surrounds you is a worthy pursuit. I would agree but only if you have a strong basis for a starting point and an understanding of the direction in which you’re headed. Otherwise you are heading somewhere without any inkling of where that somewhere is. By the way: this is a common problem not only in child rearing but also something I see all the time in financial planning (that is the lack thereof) with the same result. People approach retirement with no idea of how they are going to survive after a lifetime of directionless roaming and squandering their financial future.
David Anderson says
Well-thought response John. A happiest of Happy Thanksgivings to you too!