“The first and most necessary thing is to be acquainted with the principles of the Stoic philosophy, and to have a clear and distinct understanding of what the true good is, and what the ultimate end of man is.” — said Roman Emperor and Philosopher Marcus Aurelius.
This philosophy originated in ancient Greece and was popular among the Romans. It emphasizes the importance of personal ethics and the acceptance of one’s circumstances. The stoic framework teaches that individuals can find inner peace and happiness by living by reason and virtue.
This framework is helpful for children as it teaches them to focus on their thoughts and actions and to develop a sense of personal responsibility. However, it is important to remember that children are still developing and may not be ready to fully understand or apply the concepts of stoicism. It is necessary to consider the child’s individual needs and characteristics when determining how to best support their growth and development.
Dr. Randy Sprick, a renowned educational consultant and trainer shared his experience with applying the Stoic framework in different schools. Before carrying out this framework students used to be late for classes. He said in the interview that when Secondary schools implemented the Stoic framework with an effective strategy, they saw a 90% reduction in tardiness.
The main goal of this framework is to teach kids to control their thoughts and unlock their psychological power to discipline themselves. This framework can also be used for children with special needs. According to Stoicism, the five important elements of a fulfilling and happy life are:
1. Wisdom: The pursuit of knowledge and understanding to live a good life.
2. Courage: The ability to face difficult or dangerous situations with determination and fortitude.
3. Temperance: The power to control one’s emotions and impulses, and to act with moderation and self-restraint.
4. Justice: The desire to treat others fairly and to do what is right, regardless of personal cost or benefit.
5. Fortitude: The strength of character and resolve to persevere and endure adversity.
People from different countries are adopting this technique. When asked the reason they responded, with this framework their kids were able to take good decisions by themselves. The guardians also realized that some things are not in their hands.
Like the ability and individual personality of the kid. So they learned not to compare their kid with other children. The parents realized they can boost the confidence of their children just by taking part in different activities with the kid and showing them they care.
Carolina from San Fransisco, mother of an 8-year-old girl shared that her husband got the opportunity to DJ at her daughter’s school. It was a fundraising event. They were able to connect with all of his daughter’s friends.
She and her husband had lots of fun with their daughter. The bond between them grew stronger. After that, participating in social service with family and taking part in debates with their daughter became a habit.
Greatest philosophers and leaders like Aristotle, and Epictetus have also implemented Stoicism in their life. Here are 6 ways you can apply the Stoic framework in the kid’s life to develop their character.
1. Train them to focus on what they can control
The core principle of Stoicism is to concentrate on what we can control and let go of what we can’t. This helps children to determine what thoughts and decisions they can work on. Further, they learn to avoid external influence through the Stoic framework.
2. Read them stories of Historic Legends
The most effective way of teaching children is to give them examples. Reading a classic legend story to the children is the easiest guiding method. As the message is clear, kids understand the values without any difficulty.
3. Keep a virtue journal
The ultimate difference between a virtue journal and the normal journal is, the kid tracks their principles and attention span in the virtue journal instead of recording their personal experience. This practice is significant for their progress.
4. Encourage them to act with integrity
The Stoics believed that acting with integrity was a fundamental part of living a good life. You can encourage your kids to act with integrity by teaching them to be honest, kind, and fair. Tell them the importance of doing the right thing, even when it’s difficult.
5. Ask them to show gratitude every day
Gratitude is the pillar of leading a peaceful life. Ask them daily to name three things that they are grateful for. This exercise will build the habit of gratefulness in the child.
It will help them in the future.
6. Cultivate Self Discipline
Famous Greek Philosopher Plato said, “The first and best victory is to conquer self.” We can realize the depth of this single statement in this fast-moving culture. The absence of discipline only leads to destruction.
So the kids must learn how to cultivate self-discipline in their life. Teach them the techniques of goal setting, the art of resisting temptation, and controlling the brain. You can use games to discipline your kid.
Practicing Stoicism from an early age will develop the kids’ character. They will learn to be mindful, and resilient. This can help them cope with life’s challenges and hardships so that they can lead a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
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