By Sylvia Dickson
YES! I grew up in the South.
My parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, teachers, and neighbors were all on the same page when it came to how a child should behave. My Southern upbringing was about respect, helping out, getting along, hospitality, and church.
When we were raising our own children, my husband and I were on the same page, and had some of the privileges of family, community and church that I had. Those stabilizing forces helped in teaching the values we wanted our children to have…and expected them to have.
So, what does that have to do with French Camp Academy?
French Camp Academy is a community where young people can learn about the values that come from living in a Christ-centered culture. Those values that make getting along easier are consistent with Christ’s teaching.
Our young people find consistent expectations. Just as we teach reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic, we teach them kindness, patience, generosity, forgiveness, and loyalty.
How do we do this? More than any way, we live it out before them. Then we practice with them by going to the nursing home, cleaning the house of a neighbor, or taking food to someone who is ill.
What a joy it is when they initiate the help; when they spend time with someone who is sad; when they become the teacher to younger students; when they ask forgiveness from someone.
Yes, we have great expectations, but not impossible expectations. We train young people to love their neighbor as themselves and pray for God to change their hearts permanently. And, we never expect from them what we don’t expect from ourselves.