One of the finest books about parenting I have ever read, Golden Rules–The Ten Ethical Values Parents Need to Teach Their Children, written by Wayne Dosick, offers thoughtful, much-needed advice to both new and experienced parents who want to raise decent, ethical children in today’s complicated world. Rabbi Dosick clearly identifies the standards of ethical behavior that distinguish right from wrong.
Like Alice who fell down the rabbit hole, many of our children live in a world turned upside down. They swirl, topsy–tury, in a chaotic abyss, and we, who are their guides and their protectors, ache to save them, but we do not seem to know how. Yet we are reminded that as parents we must give children a value system, a sense of morality, and an ethical standard. Our lives must act as role-models for them to see and to understand if they are ever to choose a life of goodness and decency.
In ten easy to read chapters filled with parables, that remind me of the ones spoken by the “greatest of all teachers”, short poems, and memorable prayers, Rabbi Dosick outlines what he feels are “the ten golden rules” we should inculcate our children with. He demonstrates how to instill these basic values in children from tots to teens using simple, everyday methods. Never is he didactic or boring. The ten ethical values are the ones his parents taught him and are the same ones he has taught his two sons. They are universal and eternal truths bridging every religion and culture.
The First Golden Rule–The Ethic of RESPECT–‘Honor Your Father and Your Mother.” The Second Golden Rule: The Ethic of HONESTY– “Do What is Right.” The Third Golden Rule-. The Ethic of FAIRNESS– ” Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue.” The Fourth Golden Rule: The Ethic of RESPONSIBILITY–“Do Not Separate Yourself from the Community.” The Fifth Golden Rule: The Ethic of COMPASSION–” Let the Poor Be Members of Your Household.” The Sixth Golden Rule- The Ethic of GRATITUDE–” Consider the Marvelous Works of God- Give thanks.” The Seventh Golden Rule. The Ethic of FRIENDSHIP. ‘Get a Teacher; Acquire a Friend.” The Eighth Golden Rule-. The Ethic of PEACE.” Dwell Together in Unity”. The Ninth Golden Rule, The Ethic of MATURITY.” Strive to Be a Man-, Strive to Be a Woman.” The Tenth Golden Rule, The Ethic of FAITH– ” You Shall Be Holy.”
Rabbi Dosick succinctly sums up his definition of ethical children when he writes.”Bringing up ethical children is not about having “good” children who clean their plates and clean their rooms….Rather, bringing up ethical children is training your sons and daughters to do good, to do right-, to be decent and honorable and righteous-, to be … a genuine, faithful, worthy, humane human being.”
Golden Rules–The Ten Ethical Values Parents Need to Teach Their Children by Wayne Dosick is published by Harper Paperbacks and costs only $5.99 for a book that encapsulates a lifetime of teaching and learning. I strongly urge you to ask your bookstore to get you a copy or purchase it on the internet from Amazon Book Co.
The book closes with the following “Prayer for the World” inspired by St. Francis Assisi:
Where there is hatred, may I bring love.
Where there is pain, may I bring healing.
Where there is darkness, may I bring light.
Where there is despair, may I bring hope.
Where there is discord, may I bring harmony.
Where there is strife, may I bring peace.
Make this a better world. And begin with me.
Is there a more precious gift to give your children? Whatever you do: Teach Your Children Well !