Well, here's the truth - I think it's hard enough for me to grasp the cardinal virtues as an adult, yet we are called to teach the Faith to our children, and to help them grow in virtue. This Lent, I'm inviting parents to join me in not only rewarding good behaviors, but also rewarding good behaviors as a particular virtue. Watch out for my next post - I'll also present the theological virtues for toddlers.
Prudence - I am going to do the right thing. What is the true good? What is the best way to achieve it in this moment? Careful thinking… not deceived or tricked.
- Sarah, you did the right thing even though it was hard. You were prudent.
- Noah, you listened. You thought carefully about what Daddy asked. You were prudent.
- Aaron, thank you for not tricking your sister. You were prudent and clear.
Justice - Obey. Obey God above all. Obey authority, unless harmful/sinful. Harmony with God and neighbor (a harp)… to me…Treating others well.
- We obey God. We want to obey Him because he loves us more than anyone else and He created us and gave us this life to live.
- The only reason we would not obey someone is if they are asking us to do something sinful, uncomfortable, or wrong.
- Sarah, you obeyed when Mommy asked. You were just.
- Noah, your teacher told me you saw a friend take a toy from someone else, and you asked your friend kindly to give it back. That was justice. Thank you for being just and kind.
- Aaron, you helped that person pick up the keys they dropped. That was helpful and just.
Fortitude - resist temptation, overcome obstacles/faults/shortcomings. No misfortune can disturb.
- This is hard for you. I think you are an overcomer. I think you can do this. Try to grow in fortitude.
- Aaron, you stayed next to Mommy instead of running. I know you like to run, but you remembered to stay. That was fortitude.
- Sarah, I know it was hard for you to do your Math problems today, and I know you are working on trying not to do crafts when you get bored. Thank you. I see you trying. You grew in fortitude and perseverance.
- Noah, I saw you have a good attitude even though the baby took your toy. Thank you. You didn't yell or grab, instead you were loving and patient. Thank you. That was fortitude.
Temperance - moderation of pleasures, balance in using created goods. True love… whole, pure, uncorrupt, innocent.
- Note when children share.
- Note when children avoid something that is harmful, violent, impure.
- Sarah, you shared. That was temperance.
- Aaron, I saw that you tried really hard to not get mad when your brother took a toy from you. You were growing in temperance.