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Joy conveys joy

September 8, 2011

A Great Idea…

“A child who is exposed to adults who joyfully practice and benefit from virtuous activity is likely to acquire a natural affinity for such activities and the pleasures they provide in adulthood.” (Philosopher Seamus Carey, in his book, The Whole Child p. 43)

In Other Words …

We want our children to grow up to be good people. The best way to teach this is to be joyous people of character ourselves. Children are naturally drawn to those activities that bring us joy. If they see us enjoying loving relationships and generous service, they are likely to incorporate those same actions into their lives.

How This Applies to You …

What noble activities bring you joy? Let your joy show to your children. Can you involve them in some of those activities—like visiting a beloved family member or helping your neighbor? Even when you cannot directly involve your children in some of your joyful activities, maybe you can describe your experiences to them.

To Find Out More …

For more great ideas, visit our Navigating Life’s Journey blog.

For an excellent (and free!) program on parenting, see The Parenting Journey at and, if you have children less than 6 years of age, check out See the World Through My Eyes.

For more in depth reading on parenting, we recommend The Whole Child by Seamus Carey or The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting by Laurence Steinberg.

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