When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! — Psalm 8:3-5
SnapChat holds the potential to increase sexting and cyberbullying.
As if students don’t have enough ways to harass and torment each other by sharing damaging photos and posts, along comes SnapChat, a smartphone app that allows a picture to be sent to one or more people. The twist is that the photo auto-deletes within 10 seconds (as defined by the sender). If you are not already hearing about SnapChat
in your halls and in your schools, you soon will. It’s the latest in social media technology and it’s catching on.
As with anything, there are always positive applications – sharing a winning touchdown celebration or sharing a fun moment with family or friends. But students misuse social media in a variety of ways such as sharing revealing pics from the girls locker room, tricking a peer into doing something inappropriate and then sharing a pic, or snapping a pic of underage drinking or drug use at a party. When it comes to kids and their immature, unfiltered brains, the list can be endless. The SnapChat logo even implies “ghost photo” – now you see it, now you don’t. What kids may not realize is that the receiving party has the ability to take a screen shot of the image, so even though the sender may set a pic to expire in 10 seconds, the receiver can take a new photo and make it last forever. Let’s see
how long it takes a middle schooler to figure that out.
Building Your Child’s Character: Challenges and Solutions
We live in a time when teaching our children to be virtuous is especially challenging. Youngsters are surrounded by political sound-bites; outlandish promises from advertisers; and television programming and films filled with lying, gratuitous violence and sex as entertainment. As a parent, you might feel weary and overwhelmed as you try to help your children develop virtues such as honesty, respect for themselves and others, humility, courage and a generous rather than greedy heart. You’re not alone. The challenge of helping humans develop high moral character has perplexed philosophers, psychologists and theologians for centuries.
Children are born with unique temperaments, needs and gifts. Some find it much easier to share their toys than others. Some feel horrible when they lie, while others seem to delight in deception.
Some are timid; others show amazing courage and tenacity. But, no matter where children are born on these continuums, they have the potential to develop good character and become positive contributors to society. In fact, Aristotle, who wrote of such things about 350 B.C.E., believed humans were born to become virtuous, mature adults — to be pillars of virtue for those younger or less developed than we are. And Immanuel Kant, writing some 2,000 years later, added his view that for an act to be truly virtuous, it had to be hard for us to do; it couldn’t just come naturally.
What Can Parents Do? Over the years we’ve had many parents ask us how to help their children develop positive personal qualities. We’ve heard questions such as: “My son is so selfish, how can I teach him to be generous?”ÂÂÂ “My daughter is always so angry and mean to her friends. What can I do to help her see that she should treat others with kindness and
respect?”ÂÂÂ and “How can I get my child to be more honest?”
When it comes to character development, there is no more foolish philosophy than the old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Along with Aristotle, we believe your children first need to see virtue in action in order to try out their virtue-wings. Parents, relatives, siblings and childcare providers give children their first glimpses of courage, honesty, generosity, fairness and respect.
It’s not enough for your children to see you and other important adults and peers behaving virtuously. They also need encouragement, praise and character feedback.
Encouragement: You can encourage your children with words or simply by showing faith in their positive potential. For the boy who is acting selfish, you might say, “I’m going to stop reminding you to share because I know you can do it on your own.Â You can also actively notice your
children’s behavior when they do something positive. For example, when you see your daughter share her toys with another child, you might just say, “Hey, I noticed you let Joannie play with your special toy.” You don’t even need to follow that comment up with praise, because just the fact that you noticed will have an affect.
A basic behavioral principle is this: Children will repeat actions that get them attention from their parents. What this means is that we need to worry more about catching our children doing something right than doing something wrong.
Pope Benedict XVI announces his resignation at end of month
Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said he plans on resigning the papal office on February 28th. Below please find his announcement. Full text of Pope’s declaration Dear Brothers, I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am
well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those
whose competence it is.Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer. From the Vatican, 10 February 2013 BENEDICTUS PP XVI