Did you know that pearls are simply the animal’s response to the irritation of a grain of sand? Layer by layer, the beautiful pearl substance is laid over the irritant so that the animal isn’t bothered any more.


In the same way, we “culture” our children, for better or for worse! If they just watch TV, play video games and listen to anti-social music day after day, that will be their “culture.” It will be the setting or atmosphere in which their minds and hearts feel most comfortable. A negative view of culture will harden around them, like stone.


Who wants that? Not any mom I know.


Instead, we can “culture” our children to appreciate beauty, nature, art, and all that’s good and great about our country. Too often, we focus on the negatives – the shocking, the unfair, the outrageous – and forget to expose children to the positives. They really need good role models and good coaching to habitually chose what’s good and what’s right. So if they don’t know what’s good, they’ll “acculturate” themselves to, well, “the best of what’s bad.”


Let’s stop that, and teach them what’s good.


Little by little, by exposing them to the positive, civilized aspects of our culture, they will become “layered” with an appreciation for the finer things that runs deeply throughout their core — like a cultured pearl.


Busy families need to plan ahead to be sure to give their children exposure each year to a little bit of music, a little art, a little theater, a little dance, a little history, and the other niceties that make the world sweet and satisfying.


You don’t have to overdose. A little bit goes a long way. Just plan ahead. Get a community events calendar, and set up some experiences. Weekends are great. Sunday afternoons are perfect. Just plan your year so that perhaps once a month, your children get a little culture.


Get theater tickets this month, take them to special show of paintings at the museum next month, a symphony matinee the next, then the ballet, maybe a special-interest museum, maybe your high school’s spring musical, an organ concert at the local college . . . something that transcends the mall, the arcade, the movie theater, the skating rink and the bowling alley.


Nothing wrong with those places, of course . . . but there’s not as much right with them, and right for your child, as at the classier venues.


What do you want your child to grow up to be? A civilized, acculturated, sophisticated, discerning citizen? Then start now!


String together some lovely memories like a lovely string of pearls, and encircle your children with culture.


By Susan Darst Williams | www.TheDailySusan.com | Vitamin Mom | © 2017