Search      Language 
     

Calling all Mission Corps Alumni (Article)
On the Front Lines (Article)
Dream Big (Article)
Regnum Christi Renewal Website Now Available in English (Article)
Me? An Apostle? (Article)

Developing Habits that Make Children “Successful”
U. S. A. | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
Dr. Coleen Kelly Mast discusses the key to happiness

Dr. Coleen Kelly Mast gives some of her educational materials to David Olejnik of Shelby Township, Michigan, who came to hear her speak at the school open house for Everest on Nov. 9, 2008.
Dr. Coleen Kelly Mast gives some of her educational materials to David Olejnik of Shelby Township, Michigan, who came to hear her speak at the school open house for Everest on Nov. 9, 2008.

November 30, 2008. Clarkston, Michigan. Children who grow up with the understanding that others’ needs supersede their own will be happy and successful adults, according to one expert on children’s health.

Dr. Coleen Kelly Mast, who holds an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Quincy University and a master’s degree in health education, said the key to raising a successful child is realizing there is more than one level of happiness –in fact there are four.  Our culture, unfortunately, emphasizes only the first two levels, but this is not enough to truly satisfy the human person.

Dr. Mast addressed parents attending the November 9, 2008 Open House on the Everest campus in Clarkston, Michigan.  Dr. Mast speaks nationwide on subjects of psychological and physical health.  She hosts, along with Dr. Ray Guarendi, a syndicated Catholic call-in radio show - “The Doctor Is In” - that gives psychological and spiritual advice. 

Dr. Mast told her audience that the first level of happiness is “feeling good,” the level at which many in our culture are stagnated.  “Our culture is into emotional immaturity,” said Mast.  “It teaches our kids the opposite of what we want them to learn and to do.  But we must swim against the culture and eventually help our children change it!”

The second level of happiness, she explained, involves accomplishment of a goal, such as winning a sporting event or getting good grades.  “In our world today,” she said sadly, “those who do get beyond the first level rarely go beyond the second.”

Self-Giving Is the Key

But for a human person to be truly happy, he or she must develop the habit of self-giving, according to Mast. Humans are made to love, and love involves sacrifice, which is not a popular idea in our modern world.  Parents must help their children to reach this point by emphasizing the development of virtues like self-control and self-discipline.

According to Dr. Mast, family life is well suited to educate children in virtuous living and the development of what she calls a “fine-tuned” conscience.  (Mast stated emphatically that children will not be happy if their consciences’
Dr. Coleen Mast poses near a sign touting her appearance at the school open house for Everest on Nov. 9, 2008.  Standing with her (from left to right) are Maura Plante, Everest Director of Admissions, and Michael Nalepa, Everest Executive Director.
Dr. Coleen Mast poses near a sign touting her appearance at the school open house for Everest on Nov. 9, 2008. Standing with her (from left to right) are Maura Plante, Everest Director of Admissions, and Michael Nalepa, Everest Executive Director.
are not fined-tuned.) 

“We have wonderful support systems through our churches and schools,” she said, “but these are just support systems.  The Church and school cannot not make up for what is lacking at home.”

Child Must Learn to Discipline Themselves

So how can busy parents help children fine-tune their consciences?  Dr. Mast suggested parents adopt the strategy of a sports coach.  Parents need to stop “nagging,” she says, and teach the skills of self discipline. 

A parent’s good example is not enough, Mast said. Children must become engaged in their own development.  Parents can help by making children accountable for their actions, and stop protecting them from painful experiences.  

“We must train our children to make sacrifices, and let them face the consequences of their actions,” said Mast.

She stated that good discipline is not just getting compliance from children.  “We must motivate them with more than ‘Because I said so.’”  Mast refers to a scene in a Christian movie called “Facing the Giants” where the football coach gets a rebellious team member who is a leader to his other teammates to carry another team member on his back while crawling on his knees, across the entire football field.

“The whole time the coach is right down there with the kid, encouraging and challenging him.  You know he loves this kid and wants the best out of him,” said Mast.

For true happiness, parents must remember that diligence is more important than intelligence.  “Children need to learn that developing the habit of working hard is more important than getting straight “A”s,” she said.  Parents must teach the skills to help them reach this point, like orderliness and organization.

Our Thought Process Leads to Generosity

Then parents need to work on developing in their children the habits of generosity and kindness to others. She suggests starting with what goes on in their heads.  “Help your child, and yourself, to think kind thoughts of others, while pushing out negative thoughts.  This makes generosity all the easier.”

Mast also suggests getting to know your child’s unique temperament, and in conjunction with this, having he or she develop the habit of reviewing his or her day nightly, with a focus on improving his or her own particular faults.

Mast emphasized, above all, that we must remember life is not all work and no play.  “We must celebrate and enjoy life.  Laugh about ourselves and have fun!”

If you would like more information on Dr. Mast and her particular philosophy of success, go to her website
www.sexrespect.com.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2008-12-03


 
 

Related links

Altius Foundation
Immaculate Conception Apostolic School
Sacred Heart Apostolic School
Sacred Heart Apostolic School
Anáhuac Network of Universities
Canyon Heights Academy
Clear Water Academy
Dublin Oak Academy


Follow us on:   
Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.


Do you wish to addDeveloping Habits that Make Children “Successful” to your favorites?
Yes   -    No