Podcast Episode 147:
How to Raise a Mensch

Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 147 of The New Family Podcast where we talk about raising kids with great character.

As a mom of two boys, ages 10 and 14, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to today’s topic—how to raise kids with good character. With my elder son now firmly in his teens, I’ve got this sense that my time with him is running out. There are limited years left to help shape his character development.

My guest for this episode, Greg Marcus—who calls himself a recovering workaholic—has quite an interesting personal story to tell about transforming himself into a better person. We delve into how he actually improved his career by cutting his hours to be more available to his family.

But the main focus of our chat is the idea of raising a mensch, which is a Yiddish term for a person of outstanding character. Greg is the author of a book called The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar. We talk about how to bring the principles of mindfulness to our kids’ character development, and why it’s important to avoid the trap of focussing too heavily on our kids’ behaviour and not our own.

Here are some resources related to my discussion with Greg.

Greg’s book The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar

American Mussar website

Greg’s blog

Greg’s Free Soul Traits Quiz

Related Episode: Raising Kids with Gratitude

Related Episode: Dad of 8 on Raising Kids Who Have a Sense of Purpose

Related Episode: Raising Empathetic Kids

Greg’s Favourite Parenting Advice

“The advice that comes to mind is someone who said “make sure you take care of the relationship with your wife” because you want to demonstrate to your kids how to be in a healthy relationship and I’m very fortunate that I was in a situation where that was possible. Not everyone is that fortunate but finding ways to demonstrate positive relationships to our kids as much as we can is a wonderful thing to do.”

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Brandie Weikle

About Brandie Weikle

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here. View all posts by