Reading #1: Seven Secular Virtues
By Dale McGowan
It's a very good idea for parents of any stripe to have a firm grasp of those qualities they want to encourage in their children. This is not a comprehensive list of human virtues, nor a list that applies only to secularists. These do not always come easy to secularists; on the contrary, like traditional virtues, they are qualities to which we can aspire - often with great difficulty. They are not carved in stone, but in butter, meant to stimulate your thinking about virtue rather than to dictate an immutable set of commandments.
Sections: Humility • Empathy • Courage • Honesty • Openness • Generosity • Gratitude
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Reading #2: Dealing with Death in the Secular Family
By Kendyl Gibbons
Both secular and religious children have much the same needs for reassurance and support when they begin to confront mortality. The particular challenge for secular families is the absence of comforting answers supplied by doctrines and images from various faith traditions. Yet by telling the truth, providing emotional comfort, and validating the child's own experiences, secular parents can give their children the tools to understand and accept death as a natural part of life and the find meaning in their grief.
Sections: Dealing with Ordinary Death • Five Affirmations in the Face of Death • Particularly Difficult Situations • Confronting Mortality • Death as Entertainment • Responding to Religious Doctrines and Cultural Images
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