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National Editorials & Columns

A loving home atmosphere will help children learn

No, I didn’t forget to put in possible answers to the Hink Pinks, but yours may be better. They are at the end of this article. If you had fun trying to figure them out, you experienced some good education in your background. 

The general purpose of education is not always what we think. Education allows us to learn how to learn, not just learn facts. Education teaches us processes and skills of thinking, evaluating, problem solving, applying principles to situations and much more.

If you are in a position to influence children and help them do well in school, or in any area of life that children pursue here are a few ideas to keep in mind: Strive for a loving home atmosphere.

Tim Kimmel in Little House on the Freeway says, “Secure and loving homes don’t just happen.  The competition for time and concentration is too intense.  If parents want their children to be raised in an environment that produces calm and confidence, they’re going to have to work overtime to make it happen.”

Create an attitude that life is a joint project with everyone we come in contact. Help create a balanced student — academic, cultural, sports, leisure, relaxation, band, vocal, plays, etc. Give your child parent(s) who listen, but remain parents, not friends (that comes after they are grown).

If you are privileged to influence other people’s children, help their parents out once in a while with chauffeuring, baking goodies for various groups, and attending events to show support. It is important to strive to have preventive tactics for failure, by encouraging success in failure. It is not realistic to succeed at everything we try. In fact if we do, we probably aren’t challenging ourselves.

I believe it is important to discourage children from complaining. Teach them to act on realistic complaints, but be positive which of course is best learned for example. It is definitely true that we either see the glass half empty or half full.

Have you thanked a teacher in your life? A few I have thanked was a seventh grade teacher who I detested — she was so mean; she kept telling me that I could figure out grammar and she stuck with me until I did. Then there was my speech teacher who said I not only could create a speech, but could give it — even after I passed out.

There was my Sunday School teacher, who sadly had a monotone voice, but he taught me many principles of faith because he cared for me which helped me listen. Then there is my husband who has taught me many facts I thought useless at the time, that I later used over and over.

Also, there are my four children who taught me — no, not patience, I haven’t achieved that yet — many new ways of thinking. I could go on and on and so could you. How many teachers in your life have you taken the time to thank? If they are still living take the opportunity. It’s not too late.

Ghosts and goblins are funny if you don’t take them seriously. Yet, a large part of our population does and says they don’t. I’ve watched students go to extremes not to walk under a ladder as workmen worked on the school. 

October is a superstitious month if it brings to mind witches, black cats, and weird creatures. We feel much more contented if we think of bountiful harvests, snuggle days, and cute black kittens. Christians often celebrate All Hallowed Eve to keep the focus on good and not evil. 

Anyway some concepts to think about are: Learn to laugh with others and at yourself; learn to seek things you can praise, rather than things you can criticize; learn to be specific as you deal with people rather than general, because you honor each person’s individuality; learn to set the pattern in your life and not let “fate” do it.

Until next week — Christine Pauley

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