In this first of a series of posts on education (broadly defined), I will mediate on education within the family.

This girl wags her finger "no". We love seeing an opinion being expressed. It is our hope that the students in these schools would think critically about their lives, their environment and their world.

This girl wags her finger “no”. We love seeing an opinion being expressed. It is our hope that the students in these schools would think critically about their lives, their environment and their world.

My dad used to joke with me; “just send me the bill.” The sense was to bill him for the counseling I’d seek for my traumatic childhood. He said this, for example, when I flushed red at him singing to my carpool friends. But the joke is poignant: none of us have a neutral childhood. It is within a family context that each of us is given an introduction to right and wrong, an orientation to other people, and a sense of self worth.

A proprietress of a wonderful school in La Romana has a vision for her students to think critically about their family life. She posed this question to them: “When you’re a parent, do you want to be the same kind of parent you yourself have?” Some children said yes. Others shared they were raised by an exhausted grandmother or a distant mother. Many wanted their own children to know their father.

I thought this a difficult but brave exercise, to ask the children to reflect on their familial education and push them to examine what they’d like to change for the next generation: breaking negative cycles but also preserving what is good.

As part of a community that believes in educating the next generation to transform our world, how do you view our role in educating the individual in the context of his/her family? If instead of “sending our parents the bill”, we are called to let our pain be transformed by Christ into a better chance for the next generation, how then should our lives look differently? We’d love to hear your thoughts!