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District Superior's
Letter to Friends & Benefactors

June 2007

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

Let me return this month to say some final words regarding the development of resourcefulness in children.

In previous letters we considered the importance of giving children what they truly need and not what they simply want. We also looked at the importance of removing obstacles to the development of resourcefulness, especially television.

Let us now consider some of the various means which help to development resourcefulness in children.

Much of what has already been said about developing responsibility also helps in the bringing out resourcefulness. Thus parents who teach their children to be responsible in doing their assigned chores will usually find them also developing initiative in finding ways (tricks of the trade) to get them done. Similarly with schoolwork, when children are properly guided by parents and teachers to be responsible for their daily homework and periodic reports or projects they will also develop into resourceful students.

Another great means for developing resourcefulness is hobbies. Unfortunately, these have become an endangered activity for most children today. With hours and hours spent watching television, playing video games, instant messaging with their friends, or surfing the web, it is no surprise that they have little or no interest for hobbies or, for that matter, the real world.

But what type of activities can be considered as hobbies? Hobbies are those self-directed educational activities which regularly occupy our time and allow us to be creative. Bird watching, stamp, bug, or rock collecting, model rockets or planes and wood whittling are just a few of the many activities that can be considered as hobbies. When children take part in these constructive activities they learn to exercise their imagination and creativity, as well as focus their interests and talents on particular subjects. They also learn to set goals, make complex decisions, and solve all sorts of practical problems. As their knowledge grows and their talent develops their self-respect will also increase, giving them a certain healthy pride in their work (also endangered today). Likewise they will gain respect for others who are also developing specific talents.

Parents can help their children to develop and sustain hobbies in several ways. It is often the case that children who have hobbies usually have parents who also have hobbies. Therefore, by simply setting the example parents can encourage their children to develop their own hobby. Such parents usually realize the importance that hobbies have had in their own development and so support their children by giving them the necessary guidance and providing the necessary space and materials. Basic skills in the proper use of tools, materials or simply in following directions are also important for preventing frustration and discouragement and will also help them to avoid accidents. At the same time, parents can prevent frustration for themselves and other family members by teaching their children how to properly clean up and put things away when their work is finished.

Most hobbies will require the purchase of some materials, but here too parents must be careful to give their children what they need and not what they simply want. Remember a resourceful person has the ability to do a lot with relatively little. On the other hand there are many hobbies that will more than make up for this initial investment. Hobbies such as gardening or the raising of livestock can produce fruits that far outweigh the initial investment by providing food for the whole family. They are also a great means to gain first hand knowledge about the world God has created; the real world.

Resourcefulness is an important building block in a child’s character. By learning how to do a lot with a little they will be more apt to be poor in spirit and be able to do all things in Christ.

Sincerely in the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Fr. John D. Fullerton

 
 

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