Building a Strong Family Culture
There is no shortage of shady people trying to influence your teenager; marketers, friends, the media, random people on the internet. And today, no matter who these people are (and regardless of whether you approve or not), they can have your teenager’s full attention any time they want–thanks to the smartphone.
Parents have lost a lot of control over how, when, and with whom teens communicate…and it’s scary.
With teenagers open to so many conflicting messages from outside of the family, what hope can parents have to instill firm positive values?
This week’s guest, Thomas Lickona, is the past president of the Association for Moral Education and he speaks around the world on fostering moral values and character development in schools, families, and communities. He has written 9 books on moral development and character education, which have been translated into ten languages.
His new book, How to Raise Kind Kids: And Get Respect, Gratitude, and a Happier Family in the Bargain, addresses the question of how to instill virtues in your kids.
In this episode, Thomas reveals that, yes, parents can combat the constant barrage of outside influence, but it isn’t easy. It requires creating a family culture so strong it overpowers the negative influence of teenagers’ friends and social media newsfeeds.
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12 Word-for-Word Scripts
from this Episode:
1. Kickstart a deeper relationship with your teen by sending a letter apologizing for previous issues and expressing a desire to improve
I love you very much. I’d lay down in the road for you–I would die for you. I love you that much. Sometimes I feel like that’s not coming across. We have a lot of arguments. You’re going through adolescence. There are many tough things you have to deal with that go way beyond the family. School. Peer groups. What you’re going to do with your future. I understand all those pressures–I went through them. But look, even during these hard times–maybe especially because of them–I’d like to get better at that. If you have children some day you’re going to feel that it’s probably the hardest job you’ve ever had. You don’t get an instruction manual, everybody has to figure it out, every child is different. And I think I made some mistakes. But anyway, I’d like going forward to have the best relationship we can have. And I’d like to start by listening to your thoughts and your feelings. How would you like to take a long walk this weekend and talk about it?
11 Scripts HIDDEN…
A developmental psychologist and professor of education emeritus at the State University of New York at Cortland, Thomas Lickona is also the founding director of the Center for the Fourth and Fifth Rs (Respect and Responsibility).
A past president of the Association for Moral Education, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Character Education Partnership and speaks around the world to teachers, parents, religious educators, and other groups concerned about the character development of young people.
His publications include:
Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility (recipient of the 1992 Christopher Award for “affirming the highest values of the human spirit”)
Sex, Love and You: Making the Right Decision (1994) (a book for teens co-authored with his wife, Judith, and William Boudreau, M.D.)
Character Quotations (2004) (with Matthew Davidson)
Dr. Lickona has been a guest on numerous radio and TV talk shows, including “The Larry King Live Radio Show,” “Good Morning America,” and “Focus on the Family.” His work was the subject of a New York Times Magazine cover story, “Teaching Johnny to be Good.” In 2001, the Character Education Partnership presented him with the Sanford N. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award in Character Education.
He and his wife have two sons and fourteen grandchildren and live in Cortland, New York.