In dealing with children’s character traits, we can look at them as falling under two categories- the kind that can be changed, and the kind that cannot. Let’s look at the character traits that cannot be changed.
Children are born with inherent aspects of their personality, and one example of this is hyperactivity. Some children are more active than others, and of those you cannot expect them to be bookish people who will sit and read for 16 hours a day.
A parent can force such a child to behave more passively, like through threats or punishments. But in the end, you cannot change the child internally. If you do try to change them externally, then it will just be a matter of time before the internal aspect of the child will re-emerge when the parents are not around.
Like with hyperactivity, for example, when the child goes on his own, and the parents are not around, the child will indulge in the “forbidden” character trait, using it freely, behaving however he likes, totally abandoning the “education” that we parents have foisted upon the child.
In the U.S. hyperactivity is something that many parents and teachers are reluctant to deal with, so drugs are often used to control the child. From 1990 to 1994 for example, the number of prescriptions for the drug Ritalin, which is a drug that calms a person down, was up 390% in those 4 years.
Many education experts and parents who have experimented with customized educational methods that deal with the activity level of hyperactivity have shown that it is possible to work with hyperactivity, not against it.
These new educational methods incorporated a higher level of physical activity with the teaching or activity. For example, a creative math teacher in California had to face a class full of teenage boys. So what did he do? He would write the problem on the board, take a basketball, spin around and toss it to one of the students, who would then dribble the ball up to the blackboard, work out the problem on the board, then dribble the ball back to his seat, and tosses the ball back to the teacher. Another example is a teacher who wanted to teach his students about God and creation would take them out on nature hikes.
When dealing with children and the internet, we also have to deal with those characteristic traits that are immutable- I.e. We cannot change them. But as studies have shown, we can work with them.
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Next time: How to work with unchangeable character traits emerged online.