Instilling Temperance in Children (II)

This is a continuation of the previous post with the same title but (II).

Instilling Temperance in Children

It is not only in money that children should be taught temperance. There is also the aspect of sexuality. Decency is an integral part of the virtue of temperance as well as modesty. The control of sexual drive is important and this has to do with temperance. With this, moderation and patience is encouraged in relationships. Decency informs one’s choice of clothing which projects a healthy self-respect. It is unfortunate that a number of girls and women post indecent pictures of themselves on social media so as to have them “Liked.” When they see the “Likes” growing, they feel validated, they feel they have achieved something. But what such people do not know is that they show the world their insecurity, their low self-esteem. Recently, a girl uploaded such a picture on Facebook and invited people to drop their numbers. As I write this, over 1000 young men and women dropped their numbers. You can guess what they wanted from such a girl who has advertised all she had.

The virtue of temperance can help children in understanding sexuality in a human way. Fathers and mothers should teach their sons and daughters the beauty of human love. Inasmuch as parents are to serve as leaders to their children, the area of sexuality is one area where they are to serve as a friend. Up till this day, many parents still find it difficult to discuss sexuality with their children. But the children will come with their questions sooner than later. They would want to know about their origin, they would want to know how they came out of mummy’s belle. If both parents are not able to satisfy the curiosity of the child when he asks about how he came to life, he will ask a friend who may be naughty. The sort of answer he will get from this friend will make him look at his parents with disgust when next he sees them.

The media has helped in trivializing human sexuality. It is therefore important that parents pay special attention to television, internet, books, and video games. This is not to say that they are to become detectives always suspecting their children when they use the media. They should rather take advantage of the media as opportunities for education and teach children how to use them critically and positively. Whatever deforms the view of the human person or reduces his dignity should be rejected and condemned.

Parents ought to know that they do not teach their children the proper use of the media when they change channels whenever an inappropriate scene in a movie appears. If the children are aware that their parents care to find out about the moral content of the movie before viewing, then they have the virtue of purity transmitted to them.

Not every pleasure is bad. Some pleasures are actually good in themselves. Temperance therefore is not only about avoiding evil which is good. More than that, it is about moderating pleasures that are actually good. Hence children should be taught how to temperately use what is available to them. TV viewing is not necessarily bad but when TV is viewed most of the time, then there is a problem. It is a better use of time when skills like writing or cooking are learnt. The unbridled use of television harms family life.

The parent who successfully instills the virtue of temperance in his child will be proud of the judicious manner the child will get to use what he has and more than that, he will be proud of whom the child gets to be.

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