A Stoic upbringing

A Stoic upbringing: The discipline of desire

Epictetus advises Stoic novices to start by disciplining their desires and aversions, which makes sense because desiring things is one of our most primal instincts–we would hardly stay alive without it. As (social) animals we instinctively seek not only food and shelter, but also power and social status. But Epictetus tells us we must overcome our animal instincts and use…

Continue Reading

A Stoic upbringing

Plan for a Stoic upbringing

If we want to teach Stoic virtues to young children, we need a plan. The plan that I have listed below helps us (1) know what to focus on and (2) think about how to encourage virtuous behavior at our children’s developmental level. Everyone knows how important developmental level is in young children, but I saw a great reminder of it…

Continue Reading

A Stoic upbringing

Developing a plan for a Stoic upbringing

One reason I consider myself a Stoic parent, rather than simply a Stoic who is also a parent, is because I strongly believe that Stoicism can guide me in raising my children. So you might say that my Stoic parenting project has two main goals: to enhance my practice as a Stoic and to lay the groundwork for my children…

Continue Reading

Love

A doctrine of love

Up to this point I’ve talked a lot about how we can use our reasoning ability to control our thoughts and pursue excellence as people and as parents. This unrelenting focus on rationality and virtue can seem off-putting to many people who are not familiar with the psychological benefits (contentment, joy, fulfillment) you often experience as a by-product of the…

Continue Reading

Dichotomy of control

The Trichotomy of Control

In my previous post I shared my opinion that parents do not control their children, and that in fact we only have, at most, 50% influence over our children’s actions at any given moment. (Your child’s behavior is also determined by biological needs, chance, external situations, and other factors beyond your control.) This conclusion is based on the dichotomy of…

Continue Reading

A Stoic upbringing, Dichotomy of control

Cardinal Rules for Stoic Parenting

So, let’s start with the big questions. With the revival of Stoicism in a contemporary form that is supported by books, teachers, and a growing lay community, many people are finding that modern Stoicism offers an appealing framework for how to live a fulfilling, meaningful life. I certainly find that the principles and practice of Stoicism work for me as…

Continue Reading