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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a very valuable contribution, Feb. 28 2004
By 
DAVID-LEONARD WILLIS (Thessaloniki Greece) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves (Paperback)
What is the most important gift we can give our child during the few short years parents exercise major influence? Could it be that giving them a strong moral and ethical framework is the most important task we face? The voices are few, but they are growing - voices that say that ethics is the missing link in the world today. Voices that say that virtues need to be taught to our children in schools. Voices expressed in such books as "The Quiet revolution; Encouraging Positive Values in our Children" where we are told about a revolution in education that is taking place in the Oxford Education Authority in the UK, based on positive concepts such as honesty, truthfulness, respect, happiness, peace, responsibility and love. During the school year children are exposed to 22 similar concepts because the headmaster sees values as the foundation of education, of the healthy development of the child and indeed of the strength of the national community.
Religions identify more that 300 virtues as the basis of their teachings, but the author of "The Family Virtues Guide" has limited herself to a more manageable 52 - one for each week of the year - and reading this book was like a breath of fresh air in a smoke-filled room. Compiled by the Virtues Project, an international organization dedicated to inspiring spiritual growth in young and old alike, this multicultural, interfaith handbook has been prepared for all those who wish to turn these 52 virtues into reality by providing us with simple strategies which we can readily incorporate into our daily life and thus take advantage of those quickly passing teachable moments. All religions have their own version of the Golden Rule - do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Likewise virtues are the silver thread running through all humanity's sacred literature, the traditions of indigenous peoples, all religions, faiths and cultures. Virtues are the qualities of the soul.
We should be concerned about virtues, not only because virtuous people are good people - it goes deeper than that. In each of us there is a deep spiritual need, a yearning of the soul which is often misinterpreted as physical or material neediness. How many of us believe that if only we had more popularity, money, love, power or a better job, we would be happy? Yet when we try to fill this longing by something physical or material - something outside ourselves - we remain unsatisfied. We need to connect to our spiritual self, some would say connect with God, to feel that we are a complete, whole person. The author likens a child to an acorn with the potential to grow into a great oak - born with all the virtues waiting to grow. But just as a tree requires the right environment to grow, so virtues in a child need tender loving care to develop. In today's world of latchkey children, it is easy to believe that if we satisfy our child's physical needs we are being good parents. But a child needs more and this book helps us to understand and implement part of what is missing. This book should be read by all thoughtful, loving parents who want their child to develop into the oak tree that is their potential.

The introduction tells us what we can expect from this book: "The Guide is a how-to manual for applying virtues in everyday life, for supporting each other to set spiritual goals. It is a guide to a simple language of spirituality - the virtues themselves. Some call it the language of the heart." Each virtue begins with a small inspirational quotation from the holy book of one of the world's religions and has an explanation of its meaning, why and how we should practice it and how we measure success in implementing it. The concept is well thought through, well presented and easy to follow.
Parents are the child's first teacher, yet most of us become parents with little training and prior preparation for such easily overlooked areas as teaching virtues. Very quickly children are launched into the world of television, materialism and advertising where they are exposed to values representing the opposite of ethics, integrity and love. For those who feel that endowing our children with virtues is important, "The Family Virtues Guide" is a very valuable contribution.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Helping Others Helps Everyone, July 26 2013
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This review is from: The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves (Paperback)
This book contains many practical ideas for improving relationships in all areas of living. Those who read it and take up the goal of adding time every day to consider the "virtue of the week" will be surprised at how others around them will change too! Life is a reflection of what we hear and see! Selfishness is the number one reason for loneliness. This book outlines very simply a list of character traits that guide you to being a kinder, more helpful, more compassionate person. You'll feel great about yourself as you re-learn and hear lessons we all should have learned as children....and remembered.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great parenting handbook too!, Jan. 3 2003
By 
Renee (Honolulu,Hawaii, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves (Paperback)
For the first time it became clear to me what the difference is between values and virtues. A value is culture specific, e.g. in the American culture we VALUE earning a lot of money, but does that make you a virtuous person? In Holland we value being punctual, in Spain they don't value punctuality the same way... VIRTUES on the other hand, are universally valued by all faiths and cultures around the world.
I absolute love the virtue part of this book but the first part of the book is very good too! It puts you as a parent in the right frame of mind on houw to parent. My husband is an intensive in-home mental health therapist and his parenting class for his clients looks very similar to what's described in this book. Obviously we are on the same wave-length here. The virutes part of the book will give you as a parent concreet things to focus on with your child(ren). And the good news: you can take it one week at a time. Buy this book, it will never be a loss. And buy one for your neighbor too, and for your friends, sister, brother and .... you get the message!
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5.0 out of 5 stars DON'T MISS IT!, Feb. 2 2002
This review is from: The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves (Paperback)
This is a book that everybody should have! The place for this book is on the kitchen table. I want to study it everytime I eat. It's a neccessity! Which means, that I need to meditate upon the virtues and the practical way they are presented in tbe book, as I need to eat food, and breathe air. Virtues are the spiritual qualities that every human being has to develop. Let's all do it our best inspiration! I LOVE THIS BOOK! Thank you very much for such a great gift!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must read for everyone., Nov. 17 2001
By 
K. Moots (Helena, MT USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves (Paperback)
This is a thought provoking book that looks at the skills from assertiveness and caring to loyalty and trust. A very easy to read book with clear concise writing on a variety of personal skills each of us should have. Each skill is defined well and a short description is given how we use it in our lives and how we can improve on it to make or lives more fulfilling, joyous and whole. It made a big difference in my life and now I am sharing it with my 5 and 6 year old. Also comes with an educators guide to be used by schools and this book would fit great into the room of every school teacher as well as in every home.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Practicing Virtues: Improving the quality of life for us all, Jan. 11 2000
By 
This review is from: The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves (Paperback)
As a parent and teacher, I was happy to find this book a few years ago. Since then, it has aided me in raising my children and in my work with children at school. The learning expeiences that it has helped to evoke have opened our eyes, improved our lives, and contributed toward helping us to live in a world that is quickly becoming one. I have seen many books on virtue development but this is the best on "how to"; with its practical steps and many relevant examples. I'd like to see a similar guide for classroom teachers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book for incorporating a family meeting night, Oct. 14 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves (Paperback)
I introduced this book to our family as a "family meeting night" guide. We choose one of the 52 virtues per week, learn all about it, and practice it during the oncoming week. My four children love it, and enjoy pointing out when they see a virtue being used. Kids growing up in the world today need all the help they can get. This is an excellent resource for parents!
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5.0 out of 5 stars "A book for everyone!", Aug. 17 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves (Paperback)
"An inspiring, profoundly wise, and easily accessible book, The Family Virtues Guide is really a guidebook for spiritual living for everyone: children and their friends and family, educators, and individuals. It can help ALL of us bring out the best in each other." -- Kathleen Hawkins, author of Spirit Incorporated: How to Follow Your Spiritual Path From 9 to 5
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4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful way to implement positive creation into family, Dec 31 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves (Paperback)
This Guide is a wonderful hands-on explanation of how to implement the power of positive creation into your family, starting with children at a very young age. It gives practical working examples of how to introduce positive expectancy into every day situations. As a parent of a one year-old, I am already finding it a wonderful resource for teaching values such as gentleness, patience, love and peacefulness to my daughter. Instead of repeatedly saying "no" and "don't," this Guide is teaching me how to ask for the behaviour I desire and then praising her when she exhibits one of the virtues we're working on. A must read for everyone in the family - I even bought a copy for my daughter's care-giver!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on virtues, Dec 29 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves (Paperback)
The book "The Family Virtues Guide" is the clearest and easiest to read and use of any book on virtues that I have found. I have William Bennett's "Book of Virtues" and even picked up some books put out by the Church of Latter Day Saints (I am not a member) on virtues. I also have some other books and articles on virtues but none of them really made it easier to use than your book. I try to sit down with my kids once a week to read a "virtue" and it is so easy with your book. Thank you for making it easy. In this day and age we need "virtues." We need it in every aspect of our lives.
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