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Parenting Resources

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In the Smart & Good Schools vision, creating an Ethical Learning Community means maximizing the involvement of four stakeholder groups: staff, students, parents, and the wider community. The following are resources for helping parents maximize the power of character in the home.

NEW! "Building Strong Families That Foster Faith & Character: 10 Things Parents Can Do"

NEW! "Take Back Your Kids" by William Doherty, Ph.D. (Article adapted from Dr. Doherty's book, Take Back Your Kids.)

NEW!  "Conversation Starters: Promoting Family Communication" The art of conversation is largely the art of asking good questions -- ones that draw out others' thoughts, feelings, and experiences. These conversations starters can be used in one-on-one interactions between parents and kids, spouses, and friends or as group topics at mealtime or any other gathering.

NEW! "Family Meetings: Solving Conflicts, Teaching Fairness" Family meetings can solve family conflicts and foster kids' moral development at the same time.

Raise Children of Character," adapted from Chapter 2 of Tom Lickona's Character Matters: How to Help Our Children Develop Good Judgment, Integrity, and Other Essential Virtues. Simon & Schuster, 2004. Ten practical principles, illustrated with real-life stories, for fostering character development in the family. 

"Teaching Kids How to Make Good Decisions" PowerPoint presentation by Tom Lickona. What the research tells us about the factors that shape conscience and character -- and how to foster wise decision-making on the part of our children.

"Raising Good Children: 11 Things Parents Can Do" In this PowerPoint, drawing on real-life examples, psychologist Tom Lickona illustrates 11 principles of raising children of character.

"10 Ways to Start a Conversation with Your Child" Open-ended questions that help parents and kids have a meaningful exchange of thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

"The Power of Modeling in Children's Character Development," In D. Streight (Ed.) Parenting for Character: Five Experts, Five Practices. Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education (www.csee.org), 2008. This chapter examines all the ways that the example of parents and other adults impacts young people's character development.

"Talk to Kids About Sex, Love, & Character," from Tom Lickona's Character Matters: How to Help Our Children Develop Good Judgment, Integrity, and Other Essential Virtues. Simon & Schuster, 2004. How to help kids understand the physical, emotional, moral, and spiritual benefits of saving sexual intimacy for a truly committed love relationship.

"Ten Emotional Dangers of Premature Sexual Involvement" A resource that has been used by parents and teachers to help kids understand all the ways that premature sexual intimacy can harm their heart, character, and future. Includes true stories from the lives of teens that illustrate the ten emotional dangers.

"Raising Children of Character in Troubled Times" This lecture, delivered after the April 1999 Columbine School shootings, deals with the impact of an increasingly toxic media environment.

"Do Parents Make a Difference in Children's Character Development? What the Research Shows" This lecture reviews research showing all the ways that parents play a major role in the character development of their children.

"Media Guidelines" Guidelines that schools can send home to parents to help them regulate the role of media in family life.